Thursday 3 November 2022

Busy Betty

Busy Betty by Reese Witherspoon, illustrated by Xindi Yan (Penguin Random House) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN: 9781761047480

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Betty loves ‘doing things and making things and playing all day long’. She’s looking forward to her playdate with Mae, until her stinky dog Frank threatens to ruin their fun. So, Betty gets busy! She tries to wash Frank in a bubble-filled blow-up pool, but disaster strikes – both she and Frank end up messier than before. When Mae turns up, she thinks Betty is amazing for making a magnificent dog wash for Frank. With Betty’s ‘busy brain and Mae’s perfect plan’, the girls create a business washing all the dogs in the neighbourhood.

Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon’s story zings with hectic energy. Kids aged five to nine will quickly identify with Betty’s desire to always be on the go, experiencing life to its fullest. Along the way, they’ll discover the power of perseverance, the thrill of teamwork and the satisfaction that arises when your seed of an idea comes to fruition.

Xindi Yan’s light and lively illustrations are beaming with happy hues. Taking inspiration from Reese, Xindi’s characterisation of Betty is bubbly and blonde and bustling – and kids will adore everything about her! (Particularly her big blue eyes framed by even bigger, pink-rimmed glasses.) Each spread is bursting with spirited movement that reflects the busy theme beautifully.

Popping with positivity, Busy Betty encourages kids to celebrate their unique skills. By the end of the book, they’ll truly believe that anything is possible – especially when they collaborate with equally enthusiastic friends.

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