Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon’s upcoming children’s book Busy Betty is for the children that are not often represented in books. The star of her book is a silly, bright young girl that always keep busy and is able to find creativity where you would least expect it.
“Instead of writing about the perfect little girl with the pink bows and tennis shoes, I wanted to write about that busybody who wears her brother’s hand-me-downs and is really creative,” Witherspoon says.
This is a book that discusses business concepts and teamwork, something not seen often in children’s books.
“She’s a whirling dervish of energy, but it takes teamwork to get constructive around her ideas. I hadn’t read a character like that for a young girl, and I thought, What if we can talk about executive function and concepts of business at a very young age?”
Witherspoon read a lot growing up and was inspired by many different books.
“Ramona Quimby was a huge inspiration for me. I love [Ian Falconer’s character] Olivia the Pig. I also love the Elephant and Piggie series [by Mo Willems], which is something that I’ve read to my children. Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s books were really inspiring for all of my children. I love humor and great characters, and I find it’s easier to relate to stories that have a great central character.”
There are many children’s books and they all have something different to offer. The more options there are for children, the chance of finding a book they connect with increases.
“It’s great to see the feedback that parents and caregivers are giving—they want more diverse stories, they want more complex stories, they want stories that help enhance and create constructive conversation with their children,” said Witherspoon. “It’s really encouraging. I just read my son’s summer reading book with him, and we talked about different themes inside the book and what it means to make the right decisions or be honorable, even if it’s a complex situation. Talking to your kids about these books afterwards creates a great relationship tool, an opportunity to connect.”
Busy Better is going to hit the shelves on October 4th if you would like a copy. You can place an order at Penguin Random House.