Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a program that the singer herself put together. The purpose of the program is to provide age appropriate books to children, for free. Your kiddo has to be little, younger than kindergarten age. As long as that criteria is met, you receive a free book a month for said little one.
While my little one has no shortage of books, I'm not going to turn down a free book, and I want to instill that in her as well. So, I signed her up. Now, from sign up to acceptance, with acceptance defined as a book being sent out the following month, the process took about three months. The form itself takes maybe thirty seconds to a minute to fill out, and then it's just waiting. Once you've been accepted, there's nothing for you to do, you just sit and wait.
The first book came in the mail last week. It's hardcover and it is brand new. It's definitely meant for a parent to read it to their kid, however. The pages aren't coated, it's not a board book - no, this is straight up, if the little one tries to turn the pages too fast, it's going to rip.
The book comes wrapped in plastic, with no additional packaging. Unfortunately, the address sticker is placed directly on the book, as opposed to on the plastic. This tells me that the person who is sending out the books for this area is not an actual book lover. The sticker does not come off easily. I'm still working on removing it a week later.
The book was The Little Engine that Could. Which is quite neat, because this is one book that wasn't already a part of the collection. The little one isn't terribly interested in it, and she doesn't particularly like my train voice, but she's still little, and this one will most definitely keep until she's ready to sit still for it. Her current favorite books are animal books, so we'll give it a little bit before we try trains again.
All in all - free books are nice, and anything that gets kids excited about reading is a good thing. It would be nice if you could better tailor the book to your kiddo's interests and roughness level, but it's a sweet program, and a really cool concept.