Exclusive: See Reese Witherspoon’s Adorable New Book Cover

The actor, producer, and book-loving mom of three shares the cover for the second kids’ book, ‘Busy Betty & The Circus Surprise.’

By Sona Charaipotra

If there’s anyone who knows busy, it’s Reese Witherspoon. The actor, producer, and mom of three is known for star turns in the movies you love to watch and rewatch with your kids—Legally Blonde, Election, and Pleasantville. And, these days, she’s taking over your small screens with hits like the Netflix rom-com Your Place or Mine and her Apple TV stunner, Morning Show, which she also exec-produced.

But recently, she’s added another title to her resume: book champion. As part of her Hello Sunshine empire, she’s turned tomes like Little Fires Everywhere and Big Little Lies into must-watch TV. But, as a parent, she’s also a lover of books for kids.

Parents caught up with Witherspoon to chat about books, raising readers, and being busy. And we got an exclusive first look at the cover for her latest picture book, Busy Betty & the Circus Surprisewhich hits shelves October 3 and was illustrated by Xindi Yan.

Tell us a little bit about what readers can expect from the Busy Betty series, especially The Circus Surprise. What is it about books, and especially children’s books, that moves you?  

Busy Betty is based on me as a child. I always had a million ideas that were swirling around my brain and I was going in ten different directions at the same time. What I love about Betty is that she is a character that will inspire kids to embrace who they are and honor all of their ideas but also to know when it’s time to channel those ideas, focus, be thoughtful, and lean on friends. In Busy Betty and the Circus Surprise, Betty wants to surprise her mom with a circus-themed birthday party and, of course, it doesn’t go as planned! The great thing about the message in this book is that big ideas can shift and become even better with flexibility and an open mind.

I love nothing more than falling in love with a character in a book. To me, there’s magic in books for children because it’s an introduction to stories and characters that lay the foundation to become lifelong readers.

With Hello Sunshine and all of your projects, you are the center of an empire, literally a busy Betty. What advice do you have for busy parents—and kids—to manage it all? And how do you decompress?

I would say always have a family calendar so everybody knows what everyone else is doing and where they are going. Try to have family dinners as many nights a week as you can so the family can catch up. That’s what we try to do.

To decompress, I like to take a nice long walk every morning with my dogs. It helps me gather my thoughts and start the day off right.

As a mom and a big reader yourself, what tips and techniques would you give other parents who want to encourage their kids to embrace books and stories?

There are so many genres of fiction and nonfiction for kids, and it’s all about finding out what your child likes and having options at the ready! Whether it’s having a book on a nightstand, taking a trip to the library, or visiting the bookstore, making reading accessible and fun is key. 

What are your favorite family reads at the moment?

I’m a big fan of Kate DiCamillo—her Mercy Watson series is hysterical. When my kids were little, my daughter enjoyed Gail Carson Levine novels, my middle son really liked the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. And my youngest is really enjoying historical fiction by Nathan Hale.