Oh, How We Love: The Monstore Written By Tara Lazar and Illustrated By James Burks

[Advertisement] For this post, I used Grammarly’s proofreading software because I wanted to see how it could improve my blog posts.


The MonstoreThe Monstore Written By Tara Lazar and Illustrated By James Burks

You can also see if your local library has a copy at Worldcat.com

Ages 4 – 7. (My three-year-old son loves this book and has it memorized.) Alladin. June 2013. 32 pages. ISBN: 978-1442420175. Fiction.

At a Glance:

Zach tries to keep his sister out of his room by purchasing monsters at The Monstore.  However, things do not go as planned and Zach finds he has a lot of monsters and still his sister is not frightened.  Vivid and bold illustrations set the tone beautifully for this picture book.  The story is so much fun for children and their adults.  After four months of consistently reading this book on a weekly basis, it is still a joy to read with my son.  I love having this experience with him.

Why You Should Read this Book:

  • This is a lively, ultimately sweet, and easy to enjoy picture book (even after you have read it a countless number of times).
  • It is a great story about how to deal when things do not turn out as you expected, making the best of a purchase you cannot return, and learning to deal with your siblings.
  • While there are monsters in this book, it is not scary. As my three-year-old son is learning about goblins and monsters, it is nice that there is a book that presents monsters in a light-hearted and helpful way.
  • The illustrations are excellent! The monsters done in vibrant colors while the backgrounds of most pages are dark making for high contrast illustrations that set the mood and tone of the story nicely.
  • It is such a wonderful picture book. It has great staying power so that four months later, we’re all still enjoying it as much, if not more, than the first time we read it.

My whole family highly recommends this book. We think you will really enjoy it.

Summary of the Story:

Zack is none too happy about his little sister, Gracie, going into his room. He goes to The Monstore to buy a monster that will keep her out of his room. Unfortunately for Zack, the monster likes Gracie and sides with her. He goes back to the store to return the monster only to learn that there are no refunds or exchanges. At the store manager’s urging, he buys another monster in hopes that a pair of monsters will be scarier than just one. That does not work, so he keeps buying more monsters only to be disappointed. Just when Zack abandons all hope that these monsters will scare Gracie, she comes to him asking for his protection from something very scary indeed (even the monsters are scared). Zack comes to her rescue! The only problem left is: What are they going to do with all these monsters? Fortunately, Gracie is a smart and resourceful girl. She comes up with a happy solution for all.

How My Three-Year-Old Boy Responded to this Book:

I received this book in June, and we have consistently read this book several times a week for the past four months. Today when I read The Monstore to my son, I realized that he had memorized every single word in the book.  He can also point to and name all of the characters — which he does, regularly.

Every time we read this book he has new questions about it.  We have talked about what refunds and exchanges are, what a pair is, what the word mischief means, what a tiara is, what a welder’s mask is, and what a mob is. I am impressed that such a light-hearted and fun book about monsters could inspire so many diverse conversations.

My son also cannot seem to say the title in a regular voice. He has to say, “THE MONSTOOOOOOOOREEEEE,” every time we read it. Admittedly, even as an adult, I find the title begs to be said in an exaggerated tone.

I’m also happy with how this book has influenced his playtime. Several times, while my son has been in the throes of playing, I have overheard him talk about refunds and exchanges. I have even witnessed him pretending to feed a monster a crab-leg casserole. He has also used the word “exchange” several times in context when asking if we could exchange toys. I’m certainly impressed with the impact this book has had on him, and I look forward to reading it to him until he can read it to himself and others.

Author/Illustrator Websites:

Other Reviews of this Book:

(There are a lot of very positive reviews.)


Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the publisher.  No other compensation was received.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures: The link to Grammarly.com is a paid advertisement.  I can sleep well at night promoting software that improves writing.  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the book, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. Oh wow, what a very delightful review! I am so glad to see that you are STILL enjoying the book many months later and that it has taught your son new words and has lended creativity to his playtime! I’m just blown away over how the book has impacted your lives and I thank you very very much for this wonderful review. I’m so touched!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: