Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 22, 2018

Book Giveaway: Bobby Birthday by Larissa Juliano

Author Larissa Juliano has a new picture book, BOBBY BIRTHDAY. Larissa has offered to do a book giveaway. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks!


Bounce Houses? Yes, please! Jungle theme? Of course. Cake with artificial flavors and colors? You bet. These treats are all part of Bobbys party crashing experience. Bobby Birthday (yes, his last name is Birthday!) loves going to birthday parties even when hes not invited. He samples the food, peeks at presents, bounces on inflatable elephant trunks, all the while escaping his moms healthy cooking.

Then one day, Bobby meets a boy named Teddy who only has grown-ups as guests. As Bobby talks to him, he realizes his party crashing can serve a much better purpose -encouraging friendship no matter what our differences may be.

Bobby Birthday is a children’s story that takes place in a bounce house park! Bobby Birthday is the main character who enjoys ‘crashing’ birthday parties by pretending he is an invitee where he proceeds to sample the food, meet new friends, and satisfy his curiosity of other people’s party experiences.  Bobby’s dry sense of humor, witty dialogue and jokes about Mom’s organic cooking will relate to readers and make them smile.  One particular party brings Bobby’s attention to a little boy named Ted. Teddy seems very lonely and withdrawn at his birthday bash. Teddy is also in a wheelchair and later explains to Bobby that he has cerebral palsy. Bobby befriends the little boy and soon realizes that his party crashing might serve a bigger purpose after all…encouraging friendship no matter what our differences may be.

Bobby Birthday is intended to read like a light-hearted story about a boy that likes to explore birthday parties – a favorite childhood pastime. Bounce house parks have gained in popularity for children the past ten years (they are a blast!) and without the intention of being ‘trendy’, my hope was to have this story take place in a setting that would feel relatable for children- and also evoke conversation about how a child with a physical disability could enjoy this venue just as much. However, Teddy is all by himself at his party and after clicking around the trains with Bobby, he explains that children do not really know how to befriend him because he has cerebral palsy.


A close friend shared with me that she was hoping for more children’s literature with children in wheelchairs. Yes- it was inspired by her son Drew who has cerebral palsy- but we also discussed the need for a picture book meant for siblings and friends of children like Drew. A story that could generate giggles, but also provoke conversation about friendship, inclusion and how people with physical disabilities can do a lot more with their physical bodies than we may initially realize.

My favorite part of the story is the double spread page (illustrated by the talented Joshua Allen from Archway Publishing with Simon and Schuster) with all the children gathered around Teddy asking him questions and giving him compliments in a very ‘kid-like’ way. When the last page has been read, my hope is for readers to not only have a better awareness of children’s physical and emotional experiences in a wheelchair and and having CP- but also to recognize the evolution of Bobby’s self-centered party crashing thought process to then empathizing with the feelings of others (and how special it is when he initiates friendship between himself and Teddy, and then his group of awesome friends.

What I love about this generation of young children (having three of my own 6, 4, and 1 years of age and also being a teacher for 13 years) is that they are growing up with people from different backgrounds, lifestyles, physical and emotional differences in a very mainstream environment. Of course I know they are exceptions to this, but generally speaking, my children and students are very comfortable with children that have a different appearance or family structure than them. I credit many factors for this including schools and parents and I personally wanted to share a story that subtly touches upon this comfort, rather than magnifying a difference and instead magnifying the core of human nature- wanting to feel accepted and part of a ‘tribe.’ Writing books for children who want to feel part of this tribe, need their voices heard, imaginations inspired, or simply need to connect with characters in some type of way is my ultimate passion and goal as a children’s writer.



Larissa Juliano is a kindergarten teacher and children’s book writer living in her hometown in upstate New York with her husband and 6, 4, and 2 year old. Yes, life is busy, but blessed. She has written several book including her beloved Gracie Lou (featured on Ms. Temean’s blog in 2017) Gracie Lou Tries Something New (July 2018 Archway Publishing with Simon and Schuster) and the brand new Sourcebooks Jabberwocky “How to Build Series.” She is looking for that ‘just right’ agent who will enjoy her stories as much as she loves writing them. #amquerying
You can find out more about Larissa at
She loves hearing from readers, writers, and literacy lovers of all ages.

I believe in writing and sharing stories that make us laugh, inspires creativity, engages our mindfulness, tugs at our heartstrings, transports us to magical places, and connects with children who need their voices heard.

Larissa, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I’m sure it helps children relate to kids with disabilities. I’m sure the winner will love the story and give it a good home.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. What an honor to be featured on Ms. Temena’s blog again! This is such an incredible resource for authors, teachers, writers, and pretty much all who love literacy. Thank you so much Kathy. I look forward to sharing Bobby Birthday with all and thank you for your support, comments, and likes. #inclusionmatters
    Please feel free to reach out to me anytime!
    ❤ Larissa


  2. Reblogged this on Larissa Juliano and commented:
    What an honor to be featured in Ms. Temean’s beloved blog! Thank you for allowing me to share my Book Journey with Bobby Birthday Kathy- you are supportive of so many authors in their writing journeys. I hope to hear from many! #inclusionmatters


  3. Larissa, what a wonderful way to address this. Love the point of view 🙂 Good luck with it and I hope you find an agent, too 🙂


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