Earlier this week Reese announced that she has written her first children’s picture book, and that it will be released later this year! The character of Betty is based on herself as a child, and her dog companion is obviously based on her old dog!
Reese Witherspoon’s First Kids’ Book Is Inspired By Her Own Adventures: ‘I Was Always Singing, Dancing’
Reese Witherspoon’s first children’s book Busy Betty, which is inspired by her own adventures as a kid, will be published by Flamingo Books on Oct. 4
Reese Witherspoon is a longtime champion of reading and female empowerment — and she’s combining both interests for her first children’s book!
On Wednesday, the actress announced that her picture book Busy Betty, which is inspired by her own adventures as a kid, will be published by Flamingo Books on Oct. 4.
“I’ve been thinking about creating a children’s book with realistic young female characters since I had my daughter,” Witherspoon, 45, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive statement. “When I was a kid, I had a busy brain with a million ideas and more energy than most adults could manage so, Betty is really based on adventures from my childhood.”
Busy Betty, which is illustrated by Xindi Yan, follows a little girl who realizes she needs to give her smelly dog Frank a bath before her friend Mae arrives. “But giving Frank a bath is harder than she thought,” reads the book description, “and just when everything seems impossible, with Mae’s help, Betty learns she can accomplish anything with perseverance, teamwork, and one great idea.”
“This book was born out of my own upbringing,” explains The Morning Show star in a statement. “I was always singing, dancing and exploring.”
Witherspoon’s adventurous and creative spirit didn’t come to an end when she reached adulthood. She’s made a name for herself as an Academy Award-winning actress, producer and author.
In 2018, Witherspoon released her first book, Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits. She’s also the founder of Hello Sunshine, which celebrates women’s stories across multiple platforms. Through her content company, which she’s since sold to Blackstone, Witherspoon also formed Reese’s Book Club and Reese’s YA Book Club.
In a joint interview with her Sing 2 costar Scarlett Johansson last December, Witherspoon who has been in the business since she was a teenager, talked about when she first started to claim more agency.
“I had a whole moment when I was about 34, where I started to realize I was letting other people be in a lot of control over my life and I didn’t feel comfortable with it,” Witherspoon said at the time. “And I felt like I needed to take control of my career back.”
Since then, Witherspoon has been more confident about taking on leadership roles — and is passionate about telling women’s stories.
The Big Little Lies star and producer explained that the last couple years and living in a pandemic have given her a new perspective on further career goals.
“I think I’m even more appreciative because of that time off during the lockdown, the pandemic, it gave me time to kind of refocus about what I want to do,” Witherspoon told PEOPLE last winter. “What do I really want to put out in the world? What do I really want to achieve?”
Busy Betty is one of the answers to Witherspoon’s internal question.
“I’m thrilled to share Busy Betty with the world,” said Witherspoon in her exclusive statement to PEOPLE, “and hope it inspires kids, especially little girls, to be creative, curious, and explore their entrepreneurial spirit.”
Busy Betty, the first in a multi-book deal, will hit bookstores on Oct. 4.
About Busy Betty
From Academy Award–winning actress, founder, and bestselling author, Reese Witherspoon, comes Busy Betty, a story about a creative, curious, and exuberant young girl who has big plans and an even bigger heart.
Busy Betty has always been busy . . . even when she was just a baby!
When Betty gives Frank a big hug, she realizes he needs a bath, PRONTO! Her best friend, Mae, is coming over, and Betty can’t have the smelliest dog in the whole world! But giving Frank a bath is harder than she thought and just when everything seems impossible, with Mae’s help, Betty learns she can accomplish anything with perseverance, teamwork, and one great idea.
From Reese Witherspoon comes a smart and larger-than-life character who encourages young readers to celebrate what makes them unique and realize that anything is possible!
Hardcover | $19.99
Published by Flamingo Books
Oct 04, 2022 | 40 Pages | 9 x 11 | 3-7 years | ISBN 9780593465882
Reese Witherspoon’s debut picture book announced
Busy Betty features a creative, curious, and exuberant young girl who has big plans.
Academy Award-winning actress, founder, producer, and New York Times bestselling author Reese Witherspoon will publish her debut picture book, Busy Betty, with Puffin Books Australia, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia.
Inspired by Reese herself, and featuring vibrant illustrations by Xindi Yan, Busy Betty features a creative, curious, and an exuberant young girl who has big plans and an even bigger heart.
‘I’m so excited to share Busy Betty with the world. Since the moment I had a daughter of my own, I have been searching for characters whose self-expression is front and centre and holistically portrays the experience of being a young girl,’ Witherspoon said.
‘This book was born out of my own upbringing. I was always singing, dancing, and exploring. I hope Betty’s curiosity, enthusiasm and sense of adventure teaches our girls that not only can they do anything they set their minds to, but also by applying creativity, focus and teamwork to their ideas, anything is possible.
Witherspoon won an Academy Award for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in Walk the Line and was later nominated in that same category for Wild in 2014, which she also produced.
Witherspoon also starred in beloved films Sweet Home Alabama, Legally Blonde, and Election, as well as a number of award-winning television series including Big Little Lies, Little Fires Everywhere, and The Morning Show. Other film credits include Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, Universal Pictures’ animated musical comedy Sing and Sing 2. In addition to her acting and producer roles, Witherspoon is an author and entrepreneur. In 2018, Reese released her first book, Whiskey in a Teacup which was an instant bestseller.
In 2016, she established Hello Sunshine, a media brand and content company dedicated to female authorship and storytelling across all platforms. Hello Sunshine is also home to Reese’s Book Club and Reese’s YA Book Club, which focuses on storytelling with women at the centre. Witherspoon recently sold Hello Sunshine to Blackstone in September 2021. Now Hello Sunshine is the cornerstone of a larger media company called Candle Media. Witherspoon is an advocate and activist for women’s issues across the globe.
Illustrator Xindi Yan left behind a small city in China to realise her dream of being a published artist. She travelled thousands of miles to study, live, and work in New York. Having always wanted to illustrate children’s books, Xindi buried herself in countless books and drawings. When not drawing, she likes to keep busy with lots of crafts and cooking. Xindi currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dreams of having a puppy one day.