Monday, October 27, 2014


guest post by Tara Lazar

How would your students like to visit a store where they can buy any monster they please?

Crawl right this way, into The Monstore. (But you must know the secret knock and hand over a bag of squirmy worms, the monsters’ favorite treat.)

When I visit schools and book fairs, I hand out a coloring sheet, where the children can draw a monster of their imagination, one that performs snazzy tricks, like gobbling up a child’s gross uneaten dinner, or as one girl wrote, “shooting cupcakes from his feet.” You never know what the kids will come up with!

One of the most frequently asked questions at my book readings is, “When is The Monstore 2 coming out?” Yep, the book ends with a cliffhanger, and I’m not telling what happens next…

But that cliffhanger also creates a stepping stone to a fabulous writing prompt for young writers.

Read The Monstore and then ask the students:

·       What happens at The Monstore 2?
·       What kind of monsters can you buy?
·       What special talents do they have?
·       Who is the new Monstore Manager?
·       Is there a return policy?
·       Which monster gets sold first?
·       Who buys the first monster? And why?
·       Are the monsters happy or sad to be bought?
·       Do any adults find out about The Monstore 2?

Your class can even brainstorm questions to write about, plus students can use the sheet above to draw the monster they’d like to purchase.

I like to think that anything goes with this prompt—the monsters can do anything, the store can make any policy it chooses, and anyone can make a purchase, even with just a few pennies.

BIO: Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been. Instead, she writes quirky, humorous picture books featuring magical places that adults never find. Her debut The Monstore was released in June 2013, with I Thought This Was a Bear Book and Little Red Gliding Hood to follow in 2015. Tara is also the founder of PiBoIdMo, Picture Book Idea Month, an annual online writing event for picture book authors and illustrators. There are writing tips, giveaways and book reviews galore at

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