The Monstore
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The Monstore

5.0 5
by Tara Lazar, James Burks

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The Monstore is a one-stop shop for all your monsterly needs in this enormously funny story that’s full of friendly, kooky creatures.

At the back of Frankensweet’s Candy Shoppe, under the last box of sour gumballs, there’s a trapdoor.
Knock five times fast, hand over the bag of squirmy worms, and you can crawl inside The


The Monstore is a one-stop shop for all your monsterly needs in this enormously funny story that’s full of friendly, kooky creatures.

At the back of Frankensweet’s Candy Shoppe, under the last box of sour gumballs, there’s a trapdoor.
Knock five times fast, hand over the bag of squirmy worms, and you can crawl inside The Monstore.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Debut author Lazar takes readers to an underground emporium, the Monstore, which trades in “the most useful monsters, just right for doing tricky things around the house.” Tricky things like handling “pesky little sisters.” However, the monsters that Zach purchases aren’t working as advertised. Instead of scaring Gracie, the enormous, three-eyed, orange-furred Manfred teams up with her to frighten Zach. And because the Monstore’s return policies are none too friendly, Zach purchases more monsters (“Add another,” suggests the wild-eyed shopkeeper. “A monster threesome is more gruesome than a twosome”), all of which wind up tormenting Zach. Readers shouldn’t be surprised that Gracie is delighted, not frightened, by the blobby, tentacled additions to the household—Burks’s (Beep and Bah) colorful creatures are firmly in the scary-cute vein of Monsters, Inc. (in one scene, they use a purple snake monster to jump rope with Gracie). Zach gets a chance to prove himself as a capable older brother, but this story really belongs to Gracie. Ages 4�7. Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
If only monsters could be purchased to help out with everyday challenges such as gobbling up icky casseroles, providing the perfect amount of glow when it is dark or "frighten[ing] pesky little sisters." This is a story of such a place--a monstore--that is difficult to find and has a very strict refund policy: "No returns. No exchanges." Zach is fed up with his younger sister Gracie's intrusions into his bedroom. At the Monstore, he purchases a fearsome, red, three-eyed creature named Manfred to keep Gracie out of his space. Instead, Manfred shows Gracie his hiding place, and then they both scare Zach. Exasperated with Manfred's performance, he tries to take him back. The Monstore manager holds firm to his policy but suggests he add another. "Monsters make bigger scares in pairs." And so things go with Mookie and Mojo and more, until the house is full of ineffectual creatures. Zach decides to move to the basement, but soon Gracie comes to him for help with a particularly scary, "glitzy, glittery thing." The siblings' relationship mended, Gracie comes up with a plan to deal with the out-of-control monster overflow. Appealing though the premise is, the joke is dragged out a few monsters too many, and though Burks' illustrations have a pleasant, Pixar-esque feel, the story just isn't terribly memorable. No need to invest in this "store." (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
AD540L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Tara Lazar wished there was a Monstore when she was a kid so she could’ve spooked her pesky little brother. Her mischievous imagination led her to write picture books, and she founded PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month). She lives in New Jersey with her husband and her two daughters. Visit for stories, giveaways, and contests for kids of all ages (like Tara!).

James Burks started drawing as a little kid and hasn’t stopped since. Along the way he’s written and illustrated some books of his own, including Gabby and Gator, Beep and Bah, and Bird and Squirrel on the Run. James lives in southern California with his two little monsters.

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The Monstore 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
MI_Reader More than 1 year ago
Great debut picture book from Tara Lazar. Bright, over-the-top illustrations take the &quot;scariness&quot; factor away. Loved the ending and how the brother-sister relationship came full circle.
CherylSec More than 1 year ago
In the Monstore by Tara Lazar, Zack visits the Monstore to find a monster who will frighten away his pesky little sister. But things don't work out the way he planned. I loved the Monstore! It's a beautiful picture book. The title and art appealed to me before I even read the book. The writing is charming and humorous. The illustrations by James Burks are absolutely delightful. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really entertaining story... quite clever! Love the illustrations and the story. The story is just in time for Halloween and perfect for boys and girls! Even my 15 yo thought it was cute!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We just got this book in the mail yesterday. I could not wait to read it ever since I first saw it. My kids absolutely LOVED it! It was so much fun to read and the illustrations are wonderful!!! My kids asked me to read it over and over. If your kids love monsters as much as mine do, I would highly recommend this book.
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
Zack didn&rsquo;t want his pest of a sister to come snooping into his room anymore. That&rsquo;s why he went to the Monstore. To buy Manfred, who&rsquo;s job is to keep little sisters away. Sadly, Manfred &ldquo;doesn&rsquo;t work&rdquo;. Nor does Mookie or Mojo. Zack keeps buying monsters, but none of them do their job. What&rsquo;s worse is that the Monstore has one policy &ndash; NO RETURNS. As the monsters keep piling up, Zack isn&rsquo;t sure what to do. Okay, I must honestly say that I wish I had a Monstore nearby. And I must honestly add that I have been waiting for this book for TWO YEARS! Ms. Lazar&rsquo;s blog is one of the first blogs I followed when I first started my blog and I kept hearing her talk about her book that would be coming out and I REALLY wanted to read it. I even sent her a drawing of a monster I would like to buy in the Monstore. And now, I FINALLY GOT A COPY! WAHOO!!! It was worth the wait! I love the story idea and the whole idea of a Monstore! The plot was unique and totally fun to read. The illustrations are AWESOME! The colors and the way all the monsters are drawn go so well with the story. I enjoyed reading this book SO much, I read it 18 times (okay maybe more)! :D **NOTE I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review