Reese Witherspoon’s perky presence is a Hollywood mainstay. From Elle Woods to June Carter Cash to Big Little Lies‘ Madeline Martha Mackenzie, Witherspoon’s played a host of strong women. Recently, however, she took on a role that might surprise you: children’s book author.
What is Reese Witherspoon’s children’s book about?
Reese Witherspoon’s book, titled Busy Betty (Buy from Amazon, $13.34), was released earlier this month. It features adorable illustrations by artist Xindi Yan, and is inspired by Witherspoon’s childhood. As she wrote in an Instagram post, “Busy Betty has a head full of ideas and energy for days.”
The book’s plot centers on Betty’s attempts to give her dog, Frank, a bath, only to find it harder than she thought. This, of course, creates opportunities for valuable lessons on perseverance, staying the course, and never losing sight of the personality and creativity that makes Betty (and the reader) unique.
What are people saying about Reese Witherspoon’s children’s book?
The book has earned praise for its eye-catching art and charming message. A Kirkus review says “Witherspoon’s rollicking text never holds back,” and is “replete with amusing phrases such as ‘sweet cinnamon biscuits,’ ‘bouncing biscuits,’ and ‘busted biscuits.’” The latter is an homage to Witherspoon’s southern roots, a heritage she celebrates in all of her literary endeavors. Her first book, Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits (Buy from Amazon, $15.74) chronicled her youth in Louisiana; and her popular book club, launched in 2017, has introduced readers to an array of women — many of them southern — with the signature charisma and fighting spirit for which Witherspoon and her on-screen characters are known.
In a statement, Witherspoon explained that the concept for Busy Betty had been percolating for some time. “I’ve been thinking about creating a children’s book with realistic young female characters since I had my daughter,” she said. The actress dedicated the book to her mother, and there’s a picture of the real-life young Witherspoon in the back of the book that shows just how much she looks like Betty — complete with glasses, pigtails, and a big smile.
Why will kids like this book?
While kids likely won’t know Witherspoon as an actress, they’ll appreciate the book’s upbeat story and colorful illustrations. Among the most persuasive positive reviews of the book is this one found on Amazon: “I am a librarian and I don’t have a lot of admiration for most celebrity children’s books… [but] Busy Betty is different. Reese Witherspoon is a gifted storyteller. It’s exactly what you would expect from her… adorable, funny, and charming. The illustrations are perfect too! Would make a wonderful gift for any busy child.”
We can’t argue with that, and are definitely going to be introducing Betty to the kids in our lives next time we need to give them a gift.
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