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56 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Kids Love It!, June 29, 2013
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This review is from: The Monstore (Hardcover)
My two boys (3 and 6) loved this book. They wanted me to read it many times. Then they played Monstore games all afternoon. They made their own monsters (pom-poms, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes). They built Monstores with blocks. Then they made booby traps and trap doors with couch cushions. I can't remember the last time reading one book lead to such prolonged creative play.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and Fun!, June 17, 2013
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This review is from: The Monstore (Hardcover)
I purchased this picture book already having high expectations (which usually isn't good!). But, THE MONSTORE impressed me and my children! It has a super fun concept (a secret store that sells monsters), amazing illustrations (by James Burks), and a really cool store manager (whose voice is fun to read aloud!). Oh did I mention that after reading this you have an excuse to eat gummy worms too! Check it out!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny! A "Monstorous" hit with my kids!, July 24, 2013
This review is from: The Monstore (Hardcover)
Who could resist diving into this book after opening lines like these:

"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."

With a fun premise, clever word play, and bright, hilarious illustrations, The Monstore is a great read...again and again and again. As a matter of fact, that's exactly what my daughter said when we discovered that her favorite monster (the little turquoise eyeball guy who appears on top of the cash register on page 3), reappears 15 more times -often hidden in the illustrations. We had loads of fun trying to find where he was hiding on the pages! Fun story on many levels!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodnight Gracie!, June 28, 2013
This review is from: The Monstore (Hardcover)
The Monstore by Tara Lazar, illustrated by James Burks is a delightfully quirky take on the age-old sibling battle.

As the older sister of a pesky younger brother, I can fully relate to Zack's dilemma of getting away from his sister's attentions. I remember always having to be the better child, since I was older and I "knew better." Younger siblings can take advantage of such things.

Zack heads to the Monstore to find a solution to his pesky little sister, Gracie, who never pays attention to the big keep out sign on his room. He buys a monster to scare her away. What ensures is a delightfully quirky tale of the solution gone wrong. Gracie is harder to scare then he knows.

The art is bright and colorful and just as quirky as the story. Mr. Burks imaginative and offbeat monsters are a delight to behold.

This book will be a delight to child and parent alike and will stand up to the test of multiple re-readings at bedtime.

---

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever story with darling illustrations!, June 14, 2013
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This review is from: The Monstore (Hardcover)
What a wonderful book!! Fun, original story combined with colorful illustrations make this book a favorite with my 7-year old after just one day!! He keeps coming up with his own twists and turns to the story, too - it inspires the imagination! We love it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun story, June 7, 2013
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This review is from: The Monstore (Hardcover)
Before I could read the book to my toddler, he chatted away with his own story as he looked through the pages. When we read the story before bedtime, we both laughed at the story, especially the really, really scary part of the book! Very cute. Again, my son was in love with the colorful art. He's under the age range for the book. I look forward to him growing into this book as we read it again (and again).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY THIS BOOK, June 7, 2013
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This review is from: The Monstore (Hardcover)
This book is terrific. It's funny, witty, and kids (of all ages) will identify with Zack's need to get keep his sister away. Poor Zack finds that's harder than it looks, even with product from The Monstore. I loved reading it aloud to my kids, ages 7 and 6. My 7 year old hopped out of bed this morning just so he could read it to his dad, and of course, my daughter and I sat to listen. Tara has wonderful voice in her writing. This is such a fun read-aloud for anyone of any age. It will make kids interested in reading, whether they are non-readers or are already fluent.

James' pictures are spectacular. He completely captures Tara's witty text and adds so much texture to the story. His illustrations are more than just pictures; he adds to the story's ideas. His pictures were as much fun to look at as the text was to read.

I am going to look for more books by both the author and illustrator. I highly recommend this book, both as a teacher and a mother, and a person that loves a good book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing MONSTORE Read!, June 7, 2013
This review is from: Monstore (Kindle Edition)
A wild ride "THE MONSTORE" is full of suspense and surprises lurking behind every trap door.--You won't want to miss a minute of it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monstrously entertaining and inspires critical thinking, November 3, 2013
This review is from: The Monstore (Hardcover)
The Monstore written by Tara Lazar is about a boy named Zach and his little sister Gracie. Zach wants more than anything to keep his little sister out of his room. Zach and Gracie's house is overrun when he buys defective monsters from a local candy shop, but Gracie has a monster of an idea.
I read Lazar's picture book to a kindergarten class to fulfill a six-year-olds birthday wish and I decided to use their feedback as part of my review.
Right off the bat, Tara Lazar hooks the readers with an attention-grabbing suspenseful first sentence, that tells them where the story is going to begin and not just any old place, but at the back of Frankensweet's Candy Shoppe, under the LAST box of gum balls, where there's a TRAPDOOR. The class responded with cheers as I read the clue out loud what Zach had to do to enter the candy shop.
Each page inspired new questions and a great opportunity to practice reading comprehension, turn taking, and learning new vocabulary words and social skills. A few of the questions were, "What's a trapdoor? Can it hurt you? Is he going in? How come that one has so many eyes? And look, the one eyed one is on the end of the bed. How come he is sitting there? Can that one with one eye really see in the dark? What does monstrosity, terror, or booby trap mean?" I soon learned this book was not one that would be a quick read.
James Burks' bright colored and humorous illustrations kept the readers fascinated, as the story unfolded, with his unusual shaped and different sized, child -friendly, tricky, somewhat flawed monsters. The children wanted to count all the eyes on the monsters, compare how many teeth they had and follow a one eyed monster from page to page. The only monster that did not appear believable to these young readers was the hairy floating balloon one. The children didn't think a hairy balloon could float in the air. However, the illustrations delivered a great way to practice size, shape and color discrimination and math skills.
I asked four questions after reading the book. What they liked best about the book. What did they learn that they didn't know before? What is important for kids to know about monsters and was there anything they didn't like about the book?
The most important thing for kids to know about monsters is they can be anything and do whatever you want to make them do. When asked what they learned that they didn't know before, the class said they didn't know there could be so many different monsters, just like there are so many different people with funny names. All the monsters didn't have names, but the ones that did were hilarious. The class best liked the plot twist that showed how best laid out plans bring about surprising outcomes and they didn't like Gracie becoming afraid in her room. Some of the girls said showing Gracie afraid of the tiara was too mean. Most of the boys said it was okay to scare each other a little. However overall impressions of the book was best revealed when asked if they enjoyed reading the book the whole class yelled "yes."
The class did an art activity that was downloaded from the author's webpage. Each child was given a sheet of paper and asked to draw the monster they would like to buy. Enthusiasm seemed to infuse the room as they portrayed their own creativity and reading comprehension through their individual drawings. To name a few, one student drew a hairy-lime green-one-eyed evergreen tree that could jump high into the sky. Another one drew a broom monster that only swept up trash and another student drew a one-eyed mom monster with red bristled hair and five legs. Last but not least, two children drew a flower face monster and a pink and purple striped fish monster with orange eyes. This creative activity gave the students the opportunity to practice eye hand coordination, language skills and color discrimination.
My overall impressions are I found Tara Lazar and James Burk's skillful talents to extend learning by playfully modeling upon the page problem solving, sibling rivalry and compassion, as well as spark critical thinking about differences in the beginning reader.
THE MONSTORE is an excellent resource for the home and school library. Each entertaining page inspires continuous learning possibilities in early childhood and elementary age children. It is an easy book for parents and teachers to talk about ways to be compassionate, how things don't always work out like we first plan, what would a person do with a bunch of monsters, and the meaning of new words. They can also help the young reader practice math skills or encourage them to write or draw about what monster they would like to buy.
Reviewed by Jewel Sample--Award-winning author of Flying Hugs and Kisses.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All children need to visit The Monstore, September 3, 2013
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This review is from: The Monstore (Hardcover)
This is an exceptional children's book to share with children of all ages. Purchase this book if you want to be entertained by the brilliant, witty language and beautiful, bright illustrations. This was a great find...believe me, it is "perfect for all your monsterly needs". Our family is really looking forward to additional books by Tara Lazar.
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The Monstore
The Monstore by James Burks (Hardcover - June 4, 2013)
$16.99 $13.39
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