Little Engine Playhouse Visits Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tennessee – The Dollywood Little Engine Playhouse Tour, presented by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, makes its next stop in Shelby County to area public libraries. Presented in partnership with Penguin Books, the Tour adapts Imagination Library books into 20-minute sing-along musicals for young children

The Imagination Library is the flagship program of the Dollywood Foundation. The book gifting program mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family’s income. The Imagination Library brings children's books to the stage by way of the Little Engine Playhouse, which travels to schools, libraries, and other children’s venues across Tennessee and around the country.

Porter-Leath’s Books from Birth Program is the largest of 1,700 Imagination Library affiliates. In partnership with the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation, the program mails age-appropriate books to nearly 45,000 Shelby County children from birth to age five each month at no cost to families.

“As the local affiliate of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Porter-Leath's Books from Birth Program is excited to welcome a little bit of the Smoky Mountains to the Bluff City," said Wynett Jones, Books from Birth Program Director at Porter-Leath.

Audiences will enjoy the theatrical adaptation of “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon,” which delivers a positive, anti-bullying message. When Molly Lou Melon starts a new school, the school bully makes fun of her on her very first day. With advice from her grandmother, Molly Lou proves that her perceived flaws are really her talents. “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon,” is written by Patty Lovell, with illustrations by David Catrow. The stage adaptation of the story is engineered by long-time Playhouse director, Brian Hull.

Free Public Shelby County Showtimes:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 4, 1 p.m. - Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN
  • Thursday, Feb. 6, 5 p.m. - Collierville Burch Library, 501 Poplar View Parkway, Collierville TN
  • Friday, Feb. 7, 11:30 a.m. - Germantown Community Library, 1925 Exeter Road, Germantown, TN
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12, 4:30 p.m. - Bartlett Public Library, 5884 Stage Road, Memphis, TN


About Porter-Leath

For over 170 years, Porter-Leath has been the primary resource for Memphis' at-risk children and families. By focusing on the essential building blocks of healthy development, Porter-Leath not only gives them access to the tools they need, but also a sense of hope. Porter-Leath helps build stronger children, stronger families and a stronger Memphis through its mission of empowering children and families to achieve a healthy, optimal and independent lifestyle. For more information, visit

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation has mailed well over 100 million free books in Australia, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States. The Imagination Library mails more than 1.4 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to registered children from birth to age five. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading, inspiring them to dream. The impact of the program has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For more information, please visit

About Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF)

The Imagination Library was established in 1996 by Dolly Parton as a gift to the children in her hometown of Sevierville, TN. The program mails one new, age-appropriate, high-quality book each month to registered children, from birth until age five. With vital financial support from the Tennessee General Assembly, foundations, individuals, and corporate sponsors, Governor’s Early Literacy Foundations funds half the cost of books for the Imagination Library affiliates in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. For information on how to support your local Imagination Library program or enroll a child, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-99-BOOKS.