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'The Coat of Many Colors': Dolly Parton's classic song inspires book

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Kevin Winter/ACM2016/Getty Images for dcp

Dolly Parton first released her song “Coat of Many Colors” in 1971, and in the tune she poignantly details how her impoverished mother sewed rags together to give a young Parton a multi-colored coat. The song has recently inspired a TV movie of Parton’s life, along with an upcoming sequel, and now its reach has extended to the literary world.

The Coat of Many Colors will become a children’s book, featuring number of illustrations by Brooke Boynton Hughes. Inspired by Parton’s childhood in rural Tennessee, the book will also include a downloadable new song from Parton, called “Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny.” 

“Every year I receive dozens of letters and emails from teachers talking about how they use the song (‘Coat of Many Colors’) in their classroom to discuss being proud of who you are, that being different is not a bad thing, that every person is special and the terrible consequences of being bullied,” Parton said in a statement issued through her publisher. “It has always made me feel honored that my little song has been used in this way.”

The Coat of Many Colors will be released on Oct. 18. Parton recently kicked off a massive summer tour.