Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 16, 2013

Happy Father’s Day & Monstore Kudos

Tracy Campbell - Father's Day Card (1)

This Father’s Day card was sent in by Tracy Campbell to help wish all you Dad’s and single Mom’s a Happy Father’s Day. Tracy was featured on Illustrator Saturday on May 18th.

I missed getting Tara Lazar’s debut book THE MONSTORE at the conference last weekend. I took too much time, before I tried to buy her and all the books were gone, but Amazon has plenty in stock. I am sure I will see Tara soon at another event to have her sign it for me. Looks like a great picture book.

Tara Lazar is a children’s book author, foodie, mother and boogeyman assassin (currently booked at 3:00 a.m. nightly).  She writes quirky, humorous picture books featuring magical places that adults never find. Her debut THE MONSTORE releases in June 2013, with I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK and LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD to follow in 2014. She’ll also debunk the rule “Grow Up, Be Serious” in BREAK THESE RULES, a YA anthology due in September 2013. Tara lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters. Discover original stories, book reviews, giveaways and boogeyman extermination advice at


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.

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)

ISBN-13: 9781442420175
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication date: 6/4/2013

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.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. I just bought CRANKEE DOODLE (VERY funny!) and Tara’s is next on my list, but I’m wanting to see it on the shelf at my local Barnes! I haven’t been there in a bit, so next time 🙂 She is one busy woman! lol I’m sorry I missed her speech at the conference 😦 Sounds like she was wonderful!


  2. Thanks, Kathy! 🙂


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