Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Picture Book Review + Author Interview: The Monstore by Tara Lazar (Giveaway)

It's no secret I love monster picture books, and THE MONSTORE is an excellent addition to my collection. First of all, how cool is it that there's a store where you can buy monsters?  Zach goes there to purchase a monster to scare his annoying little sister Gracie out of his room ... but the monster doesn't work like Zach hoped.  So he goes back to the store only to hear "NO RETURNS" (I love this subtle commentary on the customer service experience, haha) and have the salesman convince him to buy another monster.  What happens when Zach's house is overrun with monsters that he can't return? Read the book to find out! (hint: lots of fun!!)

I had the chance to ask author Tara Lazar a few questions about her favorite aspects of THE MONSTORE.

What is your favorite scene in the book?

My favorite scene is the one where Gracie and the monsters have totally overtaken Zach's room. There's so much to discover in that spread, from Mojo with Zach's underwear on his head, to the purple monster who looks like a balloon.

What is your favorite line in the book?

Well, this never used to be my favorite line, but it is now: "A monster threesome is more gruesome than a twosome." When I wrote it, I thought it was too predictable in terms of the rhyme. But everyone who read the manuscript adored that line. I daresay it's grown on me.

Ha! I love that line, too! What setting was most fun to write?

The first paragraph was the most fun, definitely. I wanted the store to be in a secret location that only kids would know about. I think the opening lines set the mood well, but James' illustration brings it to a new level. That page seems to glow. I don't know how he does it!

It does glow! Who is your favorite supporting character - one you could see getting a spin-off book - and why?

I think my favorite is a character I didn't even write about! James invented an eyeball monster he named "Peepers" who appears on about 15 pages, either tucked away or hidden in plain sight. To me, Peepers feels like a "quality control" character who spies on all the monsters to make sure they're doing what they were purchased to do, but of course, they don't and Peepers doesn't care, he just joins in the fun!

I love it when illustrators add extras like that. What has been your favorite part of your publishing journey so far?

Just what I thought it would be--having someone as talented as James illustrating my story and bringing it to life. It is a very cool thing to see your characters in a book. When I write, I almost never have an image of what my characters look like. So getting those illustrations is a phenomenal surprise, better than Christmas and birthdays and Fourth of July fireworks all rolled into one!

Thanks for stopping by!

For a chance to win a copy of THE MONSTORE, fill out this form by Sept 18, 2013.

More about THE MONSTORE at Tara Lazar's website!


Beth S. said...

This book looks adorable! I'm definitely going to check it out! :)

Rebecca Gomez said...

I love monster picture books too. A recent favorite is I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll.

RG said...

We just checked this out at the library a couple weeks ago, and were sad to have to return it. My two-year-old daughter has been "knocking five times fast" on every door since. Love this book!