Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review #124: The Monstore

Dad:  We have ourselves a copy of The Monstore, by Tara Lazar and James Burks!
Lily (age 10):  The words and pictures are so good together, you’d think they were done by the same person.
Isaac (age 14):  The book is about this kid named Zack.  He goes to the Monstore, which is a store with useful monsters. 
Lily:  The monsters are adorable.  Well, some of them are kind of creepy.  But mostly adorable.
Isaac:  Zack buys a monster in order to keep his little sister in line and keep her out of his room--
Gracie (age 12):  And what is his little sister’s name, hmmm?
Isaac:  Gracie.
Gracie:  Heh, heh, heh…
Isaac:  Where was I?  Gracie messed me up.
Dad:  We need a monster to keep *our* Gracie in line.
Isaac:  Yeah, EXACTLY. 
Gracie:  Zack’s sister might be annoying, but she has an awesome name. 
Isaac:  The monster he buys doesn’t work, so he gets another one.  That one doesn’t work either, so he keeps getting more and more and more monsters. 
Gracie:  The monsters don’t keep Gracie out of his room, instead they help her annoy her brother.  Which is hilarious.  It’s the exact opposite of what he wanted. 
Isaac:  At the Monstore there are no exchanges or refunds, so Zack had to keep them all.  He built up a huge collection of monsters.
Dad:  Zack’s not very bright.  You’d think he’d figure out pretty soon that buying monsters wasn’t working.
Gracie:  He’s not very smart.  Not as smart as his wonderful, beautiful, incredibly-named sister.
Dad & Gracie:  Hah ha ha haah hah!
Dad:  We do actually have it on good authority that this character is kind of named after you, my dear.
Gracie:  She is me.  Tara Lazar said that when she made up these characters, the girl’s name was just always Gracie.  And she thinks unconsciously she named her that because she reads our blog!  And it IS a lovely name.
Lily:  Why wasn’t *I* stuck in her head?
Elijah (age 7):  It would be fun and awesome to draw pictures for a book like this because of the monsters in it.
Dad:  You are our monster-boy.  You love drawing monsters.
Elijah:  Yes, I do.
Dad:  How did these monsters hold up compared to other monsters you’ve seen?  How is James Burks as a monster draw-er?
Elijah:  Better than me.
Dad:  So he gets a thumbs-up?
Elijah:  The monsters are awesome.  Really awesome.  The awesomeness of them is awesome.
Dad:  Would you guys want to have a monster?
Gracie:  It depends on what kind of monster.  I would like to have the kind that eats dinners you don’t like.  And I’d use him every day.
Isaac:  Then you’d starve and die.
Lily:  I’d buy a glow-in-the-dark monster.  That would be the most useful.  For my life it would.  Because I always like to stay up late.
Elijah:  I want that globby monster in the jar.  I’m pretty sure you could transform him into anything.  I’m pretty sure.  You could just shape-him-up and then make him do stuff for you.
Dad:  What do you think the most helpful monster would be, Isaac?
Isaac:  I’ve actually thought about this before.  Yes, I have.  And I’ve decided – at least at this moment I’m still feeling it – that the best monster would assist you with your pet peeves.  So, when someone leaves the faucet on and it’s barely dripping, the monster would turn it off.  Or if someone leaves the front door open and the flies are flying in, the monster would close it.
Dad:  That’s what children are for.  “Hey kid – go turn that off…”  You’ve got plenty of brothers and sisters for that…
Isaac:  Are you kidding.  I’ve asked so many times.
Gracie:  Yeah – he’s always like, “Turn-it-off–Turn-it-off–Turn-it-off…”
Isaac:  It doesn’t work.  That’s why I want a monster.
Lily:  The purple furry balloon monster is the cutest one.  It’s a girl.  I know because it has eyelashes.
Gracie:  Dad has eyelashes.
Elijah:  I have eyelashes.
Gracie:  Elijah’s eyelashes are way, way long.  The longest eyelashes of anyone I’ve ever met.
Dad:  I love the monster in the book that is just a teeny eyeball with legs.
Gracie:  Hey, what does that little eyeball monster even do?  What is he useful for?
Elijah:  He is just useful for awesomeness.

monster line-up, by Isaac

monsters hi, by Elijah

monster party, by Lily

helpful monsters, by Gracie

Author: Tara Lazar
Illustrator: James Burks
Published, 2013:  Aladdin
Like it?  Here it is