The Monstore

The MonstoreTitle: The Monstore
Author: Tara Lazar
Illustrator: James Burks
Publisher: Aladdin Books, 2013
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 4-8
Themes: Monsters, Siblings

Opening Lines:

“At the back of Frankensweet’s Candy Shoppe, under the last box of sour gum balls, there’s a trapdoor.

Knock five times fast, hand over a bag of squirmy worms, and you can crawl inside … THE MONSTORE.”

Synopsis (from Amazon website): 

The Monstore is the place to go for all of your monsterly needs. Which is perfect, since Zack definitely has a monsterly need. The problem? His pesky little sister, Gracie, who never pays attention to that “Keep Out” sign on Zack’s door—the one he has made especially for her.

But when Zack’s monsters don’t exactly work as planned, he soon finds out that the Monstore has a few rules: No Refunds. No exchanges. No exceptions.

Why I Like this Book:

When you have read as many picture books as I have, after a while they start to seem the same. This book is TRULY original, the only thing this book reminded me is one of my favorite movies Monsters, Inc and that is just because of the colorful, diverse, wacky monsters (not to worry, the stories are completely different). Look at monsters aren’t they amazing!


Debut author Tara Lazar has written a FUN, FUN, FUN read. The only way a kid won’t love this book is if they hate monsters, actually nope maybe not even that. What is this book about? – a trapdoor, monsters for sale, a horrible return policy, and a simple story about a brother and a sister that will make you smile.

I love the characters. They are exceptional from Zack who keeps claiming his monsters are broken, to brave, playful Gracie who loves her new friends, and lastly the manager with poor customer service. I love the humor it is off the charts as the text and illustrations play together perfectly. In this scene below the text starts with “So Zack kept buying .. and trying .. and buying …” which is just heightened with this artwork of a colossal party in Zack’s room. Plus who doesn’t love a monster with underwear on his head.



So grab this book and maybe this “glow in the dark” monster and settle in for a monsterly cooky ride.

For a chance to win a signed copy of this awesome book. Leave a comment by June 25th 9pm PST stating what type of monster you could use. And remember the rules: No monster comment, No entry, No exceptions. 

Disclosure: I received my copy of this book from the publisher Aladdin Books. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.

If you would like to hear from author Tara Lazar, check this interview where she discusses how parents and picture book authors can use Storybird, a digital platform for creating stories.


44 Comments to “The Monstore”

  1. Oh sob, boo, you beat me to a review..LOL We have ordered Monstore, but it takes weeks to ship to OZ. WE cannot wait another second after seeing this review. Thanks so much for linking it in to the kidlitbloghop.

  2. WOW. Dino would LOVE this book. I am going to patiently wait for it to come to the library, oh so many activities we can do with this afterwards. Thanks for sharing.

  3. My family really enjoyed THE MONSTORE too. Our favorite monster was the GLOW IN THE DARK monster. But, as far as a monster I could use the most….that would probably be the broom monster to help clean up the kitchen after my kids eat!

    I found your post on the KID LIT BLOG HOP.

  4. I LOVE this book! I would also LOVE to have a signed copy!

    • Sounds good Erik, but then you will have to answer the question “What kind of monster could you use?”. Remember the rules: No monster comment, No entry, No exceptions. 😉

  5. Leaving this comment in order to enter the give-away! Our favorite monster has to be the GLOW in the dark monster! 🙂 (it was hard picking out one!!) Great review.

  6. I think I could really use a long-armed bed-making monster. Or maybe a toilet-scrubbing monster…although you would have to be sure to look before you sit down…

  7. I love Tara’s book and still plan to review it a little later — I figure the more exposure the better. It is deserving of the attention. It is such a fun book with great illustrations. To your success Tara — hope sales go well. The cover alone should help sell it. Great review Darshana.

  8. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m dying to get a copy. I’d like to have a babysitting monster who could cook! If you have any for sale, send the monster my way! Would like a big, fluffy one that’s purple please.

    • Very cute with purple fluffy description. Yes having a monster that could cook would be great, though I might be a little nervous about his dishes. slug-snail soup or hairy horseradish hamburgers.

  9. I haven’t read the book yet, either, but it sounds delightful! Since I’m a bit “vertically-challenged,” I could really use a Reach-It monster, the type that could reach things down from high places for me. Wouldn’t that be handy!!!

    • Oh, I could use that one too! That would be very handy. Maybe Mookie, the flying monster from the book can help with that. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. I vote for a Clean the bathroom monster, or a laundry fold & put away monster, please! 🙂

  11. I’ve heard so much about this one, I need to find a copy! I could use a glowing, read-at-night monster. Or, perhaps a mopping monster (green, please). A monster who can come up with creative activities for tired children while I cook dinner would be fantastic, too (it would need to have some good monster magic).

  12. Sounds like a darling book. Can’t believe the creativity that exists in this world! Thanks for sharing. Hopping on, Cheryl, Hop Hostess.

  13. Lol! I’d go with most everyone else and vote for some mess munching monster. But I’m betting my kids would rather have a flubber monster with a great tummy to bounce on or a flapping-wing monster that will fly them anywhere they want to go.

  14. I’ve heard such great things about this book!

    I’m thinking there should totally be a monster who loves to do dishes and vacuum! I would buy multiple mosters! =)

  15. I’m dying to read this book. We already have a Tickle Monster — the kids’ uncle. I could use a kid-entertaining monster for when I need to get a little writing done. 😉

    • yes, i’d actually take it one-step further and make it nanny monster too so they can take care of the other things too like cooking, bathing, getting them into bed when they don’t want to stuff.

  16. How about a personal assistant monster? I could totally use one of those!! The book sounds great.

  17. Omigosh! Everybody is loving this unique book! Very exciting. No question – I would get a dust-bunny- eating monster and as long as he doesn’t mind cats, he could stay! 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway and thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

  18. Posted on this too! I liked it too! 🙂

  19. I could use a laundry folding monster.

  20. Cool – this is on the list for my kids – thanks!

  21. Happily, I found this on my library’s shelf just waiting for me to check out! I know I’m late for the giveaway, but I sure would love a housecleaning monster!

  22. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing this with the June Carnival of Children’s Literature. You can find that here

  23. Cute! Kinda looks like one of my family reunions, but my family is much more scary…..

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