Renee Bolla is the author of “The Truth About Stepmoms,” releasing on Mother’s Day.

Renee Bolla is the author of “The Truth About Stepmoms,” releasing on Mother’s Day.

Photo provided by Renee Bolla

Local mom prepares for launch of new children’s picture book

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published May 7, 2024


BIRMINGHAM — Birmingham resident and children’s picture book author Renee Bolla is preparing to release her latest book, “The Truth About Stepmoms,” on Mother’s Day, May 12.

Before becoming a children’s picture book author, Bolla was in the fashion retail industry. However, at the end of 2020, she decided to take a step back from this fast-paced environment and take a break before she jumped into a new career path. During this break, she found that with the open time and mental capacity, she was able to explore writing as a creative outlet, something she has always been interested in.

It all started when she decided that she wanted to write keepsake books for each of her three daughters.

“I wanted to share a piece of our story and our journey, not just with them but with the world, and books have such a powerful impact in people’s lives that I felt just very called to do that,” Bolla said.

In 2022, she released the children’s picture books “Finding Bunny” and “Imagine That.” The book “Finding Bunny” is based on her youngest daughter and her connection with her stuffed animal. “Imagine That” was written for Bolla’s firstborn and tells the story of a little girl who is very brave and can do many things, but struggles with the fear of the dark at night.

Bolla said she writes from the perspective of a parent and weaves in the challenges and the positive parts of the journey.

“I wanted to make it available to others because their stories were stories that I think many children and families could relate to,” Bolla said.

The newest book, “The Truth About Stepmoms,” was inspired by Bolla’s stepdaughter. The picture book follows the story of a stepdaughter and stepmother and celebrates the bond that can form between children and their stepmothers.

This book is also special to Bolla because her parents divorced when she was young, and she grew up with a stepmother. When she was a child, she said, blended families were not as well received by society, so there was not a lot of media that portrayed stepmothers in a positive light.

Bolla said the three of them — her stepmother, her stepdaughter and herself — are all very close and share a special connection due to the understanding that they all have of each other’s experiences.

“I wanted that story to come to life in a way that can impact other families navigating blended families and stepparents coming in,” Bolla said.

In the book, Bolla sets out to debunk stereotypes about stepmothers and give children a positive outlook on blended families. Since there was not a lot of positive media about stepmothers growing up, she decided to create her own for her families and other blended families.

“I hope that families can read this as they navigate divorce or new people coming in and out of their lives,” Bolla said.

“The Truth About Stepmoms” is a children’s picture book intended for ages 6-8, grades one through three.

Bolla is holding multiple launch parties, including 10:30-11:30 a.m. May 4 at the Fascination Factory, ​​2295 E.Lincoln St. Suite 150, Birmingham.

“Renee has come in before and she is a very lovely and engaging author,” Fascination Factory founder Lacey Foon said.

The Fascination Factory is a play-based learning business in Birmingham. About once a month they have a local author come in and do a reading.

“As a child of a divorce who grew up with a stepmom, I also thought that it was a lovely idea that she had a book about this, especially in this day and age, where divorces are so prevalent,” Foon said.

To attend, sign up for any of the Fascination Factory’s open play spots for the morning of May 4.

Other launch parties will be held 11 a.m.-noon May 10 at Sidetrack Bookshop in Royal Oak, 10:30-11:30 a.m. May 11 at Coreander’s Children’s Bookshoppe in Grosse Pointe Park, 2:30-4 p.m. May 11 at Schuler Books in West Bloomfield, and 1-2 p.m. May 19 at the Detroit Public Library May 19. For more information, visit