You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘The Monstore’ category.

You’re in the giving mood and so am I!

littleredglidinghood Bear Book final cover monstorefrontcover

If you are giving one of my books for the holidays, email me at tarakidlit at gmail dot com. I’ll send you an address to send me a SASE. I’ll send you back a personalized, signed bookplate (or two or three…however many you need).

Alternatively, you can call The Bookworm at 908-766-4599 to place an order and I’ll sign the books directly, wrap them and ship ’em off from the store.

Bonus–if you’re giving LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD, you get a bookplate signed by both illustrator Troy Cummings and me!

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Also, if you’re an independent bookseller, I can send a buncha LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD bookplates for your books in stock. So send me an email!

But act fast! We’ve got 9 days until Christmas!

(Side note: when do we start the “12 Days of Christmas”? Is it the 12 days leading up to Christmas, the 12 days including and after, or what? I never fully understood this…)

We haven’t gone on our summer beach vacation yet, but retailers are already finito with “Back to School” and onto Halloween. Go figure. They must have missed the IT’S STILL AUGUST memo.

So to jump-start your monstrous season (and to reduce your shock over obscene displays of candy), here’s a list of over 100 monsters. Some hail from local folklore, some from novels. Some are mythological and some have graced (which is totally the wrong word) the silver screen. Some are computerized and some are human. Maybe. I’m not entirely sure. Some are friendly, some EAT BRAINS. (And thus, are not very friendly.) All are MONSTERS.

Enjoy…if you dare! Bwaaaa haaa haaaaaaaaa!!!

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  1. Abominable Snowman
  2. Alien (Xenomorph)
  3. Audrey II
  4. Automatons
  5. Bane
  6. Basilisk
  7. Beelzebub (The Devil)
  8. Beetlejuice (Betelgeuse)
  9. Bigfoot
  10. Body Snatcher
  11. Boogeyman
  12. The Blob
  13. Centaur
  14. Champ (Lake Champlain Monster)
  15. Chimera
  16. Chuckie
  17. Chupacabra
  18. Clover
  19. Creature from the Black Lagoon
  20. Creepers (from Minecraft)
  21. The Critters
  22. The Crypt Keeper
  23. Cyclops
  24. Damien (“The Omen”)
  25. Demon Possession in “The Exorcist”
  26. Dracula
  27. Dragons
  28. Drakon
  29. The Elephant Man
  30. Elmo
  31. The Fly (Brundlefly)
  32. Flying Spaghetti Monster
  33. Frankenstein
  34. Freddy Kruger
  35. Gargoyle
  36. Ghosts
  37. Ghoulies
  38. Gnomes
  39. Goblins
  40. Godzilla
  41. The Graboids
  42. Gremlin
  43. Griffin (Gryphon)
  44. The Grinch
  45. Grover
  46. Gurumapa
  47. HAL 9000
  48. Headless Horseman
  49. Hobgoblin
  50. Hornswagger
  51. Hunchback
  52. Hydra
  53. Incubus
  54. It
  55. Jason (“Friday the 13th”)
  56. Jaws
  57. Jersey Devil
  58. King Kong
  59. The Kraken
  60. Lākhey
  61. Leatherface
  62. Leprechaun
  63. Leviathan
  64. Loch Ness Monster
  65. Malificient
  66. Manfred, Mookie & Mojo (“The Monstore”)
  67. Martians
  68. Medusa
  69. Mike Myers
  70. Mike Wazowski
  71. Minotaur
  72. The Mummy
  73. Mr. Hyde
  74. The Night Wump
  75. Ogopogo
  76. Oscar the Grouch
  77. The Pale Green Pants (with nobody inside them!)
  78. The Penguin
  79. Phantom of the Opera
  80. Phoenix
  81. Pinhead
  82. Poltergeists
  83. Pumpkinhead
  84. Red-Hot-Smoke-Belching Gruncher
  85. Sandworm
  86. Sasquatch
  87. She-Wolf
  88. Sigmund the Sea Monster
  89. Sirens
  90. The Sith
  91. Skeletor
  92. The Sleestaks
  93. Slender Man
  94. Snozzwangler
  95. Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man
  96. Succubus
  97. Sulley
  98. Swamp Thing
  99. Talos
  100. Tar Man
  101. The Terminator
  102. Terrible Bloodsuckling Toothpluckling Stonechuckling Spittler
  103. The Thing
  104. Trolls
  105. Typhon
  106. Vampires
  107. Vermicious Knid
  108. Voldemort
  109. Werewolf
  110. Whangdoodle
  111. Wild Things (“Where the Wild Things Are”)
  112. Wicked Witch of the West
  113. Wolfman
  114. Yeti
  115. Zombies

Thanks to Josh Funk for helping to compile this list…which I’ll keep adding to periodically.

Thank you, PiBoIdMo participants, guest bloggers and illustrators. Do you know what you did?

You helped me raise $433.62 to donate to RIF, Reading is Fundamental.

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Your purchases via the PiBoIdMo CafePress Shop made it possible.

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With Carol Hampton Rasco, CEO of RIF

For every $10 donated, RIF is able to distribute four books to a child in need.

FOUR BOOKS!

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So last month I made my way down to RIF Headquarters in D.C. I toured their offices and talked with RIF staff about the important work they’re doing.

One staff member had just returned from a county in Appalachia, where 28% of the schoolchildren were officially homeless, and where even more lived in crowded trailers with multiple families apiece.

The school Principal told RIF that amazingly, their test scores rose from 9th percentile to the 22nd percentile in just one year. To what did they attribute that growth? RIF! Now that these children have books of their own, they’re able to continue learning at home and over the summer break instead of being left behind. Books are AMAZING. But you already knew that, right?

As part of my trip to RIF, my publisher, the Aladdin imprint of Simon & Schuster, donated 100 copies of THE MONSTORE to the children at Bancroft Elementary in Washington, D.C. I was honored to appear at the school to talk to the children about writing and to personally sign every copy.

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The best moment of the day? When I told the children they’d each be going home with a copy of my book. They cheered and hoorayed, and two besties in the front row hugged each other so tight they tumbled over in joy. Now that’s a great day for any author. Thank you, Aladdin and RIF!

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I have something else important to tell you.

RIF’s donations have taken a plummet in recent times. The economy has hit them hard. So please consider donating directly. Remember $10 = 4 books!

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Donate here. Or here.

And again, thank you for making the PiBoIdMo donation possible!

Every sale from the PiBoIdMo CafePress Shop will continue to benefit RIF!

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Shirt design by Tory Novikova and available in the PiBoIdMo CafePress Shop!

Shirt design by Carter Higgins and available in the PiBoIdMo CafePress Shop!

Shirt design by Carter Higgins and available in the PiBoIdMo CafePress Shop!

 

You know, picture book authors and teachers have oodles in common. We all love kids, we’re often underpaid, and we deal with constant parent criticism. Really, we could be twins. Except teachers must get groomed and dressed every morning while we authors get to lounge around in jammies all day. (Sorry, it’s one of the professional perks.)

I do Skype visits in my jammies--whichever kind the kids pick. This time it was ice skate jammies!

I do Skype visits in my jammies–whichever kind the kids pick. This time it was ice skate jammies!

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That’s why I was surprised when I spoke to a group of 50 teachers last week and not a single one had ever used Skype in the classroom. We’re not so twinsy after all?

I connect with a lot of teachers online, so I mistakenly assumed that a majority already took advantage of this technology. But I learned that lack of time and resources—plus occasional lack of the internet—means Skype doesn’t get utilized. Some schools even have privacy concerns and other rules preventing its use.

But that’s too bad! Why should it be?  If schools can’t afford to bring an author in to speak, Skype provides a free next-best-thing alternative. Author Kate Messner maintains a list of authors who offer free 15-minute Skypes, and a searchable database of Skype-able authors is available at skypeanauthor.wikifoundry.com. With World Read Aloud Day approaching on March 5, think of how excited students will be to hear an author read their own book. It’s magical. Kids consider authors the “rock stars” of the written word.

shannonmmillerJust ask Shannon McClintock Miller’s students. She’s District Teacher Librarian at Van Meter Community School in Van Meter, Iowa and has invited authors/illustrators into her library via Skype for the last six years!

I asked Shannon a few questions to help other teachers get started with their own Skype program…

Shannon, what can a teacher do if their administration is skeptical about Skype?

If the administration is resistant, teachers need to show examples, show the importance, show the impact it can have on the students. They also need to reassure them that the kids are safe, that they know what they are doing…that they understand the “digital citizenship” impact.

When we started out, we practiced Skyping into each others’ rooms. I would read from my library office to the kids down the hall over Skype. We were then able to teach them about Skype, how to behave, that it was just an “extension” of their classroom. All those silly behaviors that we see at first when kids are put in front of a camera can be talked about and addressed. Make sure your administraion knows this.

The impact of bringing in not just authors, but other experts and professionals, takes the library or classroom outside of the four walls and into the world. It brings the children experiences that they might not have otherwise.

skypeWhat is your Skype set-up like?

We have a computer with a camera and that is what I use. I have it connected to a projector so the kids can see the author or visitor. You don’t have to have a fancy set up to make this work. It can be simple. And kids can also gather around the laptop on the table, which is what we usually do because they like to be close to the author. Also, it’s very important to have speakers set up. Have the kids be able to come up easily and ask questions, too.

I love how mobile my set-up makes me. I can go anywhere with my laptop…and make connections happen naturally. I also use my phone and iPad with Skype, too. Last year took my phone to our pasture for a class of Kindergarteners to see our horse. It works—the connection, the relationships are what is important.

Also, it’s important to have the author’s book available. We have even read the book along on our iPad if the book is an eBook, too. Or I have printed off papers from the Skype visitors to have for the kids.

We are renovating our library and this is a very important part of the new design. But I want people to know—you can have it be very simple, too.

What have been some of your most memorable Skype author/illustrator experiences?

We have had so many wonderful Skype visits.

  • Mercer Mayer was very special because being one of the favorite of all kids (and teachers)… And my cousin (with whom I teach) asked me for her kindergarteners.
  • Michael Buckley led an hour-long discussion as a culminating event with our 5th graders and also had fun with us on the last day of school last year.
  • Tom Angelberger has Skyped with us several times to create Origami Yodas.
  • Robert Forbes and Mrs. P read poetry together for our Poetry Summit with five other schools around the world.
  • Peter Reynolds Skyped from his home studio. Being an artist and friend of Peter’s, this was very special.
  • Loren Long Skyped for Read Across America Day 
  • This fall we have been Skyping with Capstone Publishing Art Studio. And LOVED this one
  • I know I am leaving out so many of my favorite friends and visits…I could go on and on.

vanmeterHow do you feel these visits have impacted your students?

I feel that these visits bring great experiences and connections to our students. By Skyping with authors, they can discuss writing, publishing, reading, brainstorming, etc. By Skyping with illustrators, they can discuss being an artist for books, for authors, how they got involved and the process.

A lot of times the authors talk about writing when they were younger—how they went to school, where they trained and how they got better at writing.

We have Skyped with publishers to understand the process of writing and publishing a book.

We get to bring the world to our children through these virtual visits.

Thank you, Shannon! It’s interesting to hear from a school system that has been utilizing Skype to its full advantage!

So, how about YOU?

Are you a teacher, educator or librarian eager to try Skype? I’m offering free 15-minute Skype sessions for World Read Aloud Day on March 5th!

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I will read my book THE MONSTORE, tell students a SECRET about the book and then answer their questions. (I also perform a magic trick made possible only by this amazing technology and the warping of the space-time continuum.)

Just email me at tarawrites (at) yahoo (dot you-know-what-else) and we can set up a time slot!

Happy Skyping to all!

merci

Stationery by Mooseart on Etsy.

Are you good about saying “thank you”?

Admission: I’m not.

Some people keep desks full of exquisite stationery and sign them with flourishing gratitude. Me, I can’t find a stamp in the junk drawer so I give up before I even start. And my address book? Last seen in 2009, scribbled over by toddler’s crayons. And glitter glue. And strawberry applesauce.

Yeah, despite organizing PiBoIdMo every year, in daily life, I’m highly unorganized. Neatness and order doesn’t compute. I leave dishes in the sink. Piles of unfolded clothes litter the laundry room. A confused conglomeration of bags and boxes accumulate under the stairwell. I’m afraid to know what small animals have taken residence there. (Fodder for my next picture book manuscript?)

Saying “thank you” has always been difficult. When someone offers a compliment, I deflect it with self-deprecating remarks. My goal is to let the person know whatever I did was simple, something they could just have easily accomplished. It feels braggart to accept a compliment. So I don’t take them. The attention feels uncomfortable. Little did I know how rude it was to not respond with “thank you”.

I like to give, not receive. Don’t ask me why. Some psychologist is gonna have a field day with this. But I do have a point, beyond being called in for a head-shrinking session.

I’d like to say “thank you” to YOU for helping me to achieve a rewarding 2013.

  • To all the people who purchased my debut picture book THE MONSTORE, thank you.
  • To those who voted for my book and my blog in various end-of-year superlatives, thank you.
  • To everyone who follows me here or on Facebook and Twitter, thank you.
  • To the participants, authors, illustrators and agents of PiBoIdMo, thank you.
  • To those who have asked me to guest blog, speak or present, thank you.
  • To the authors who wrote all the books I read in 2013, thank you. (Yes, I must thank them—they kept me happily entertained!)

This past year has been a tremendously gratifying one for me, and I would be amiss if I didn’t extend my gratitude.

So THANK YOU.

May your 2014 be productive and successful!

And now, to find that address book…

Yep, I still haven’t mailed out my holiday cards. *sigh*

happynewyear

***blows into hankie***

Yes, I’m emotional because the 5th annual PiBoIdMo has come to a close. It’s been an incredibly satisfying few months for me—from organizing guest bloggers, to reading their sage advice, to receiving thankful emails from you, the participants. I am grateful for your feedback. Knowing that the kidlit writing community has benefitted from this challenge is my greatest reward. It means there are many more fabulous picture books on their way, into the eager hands of children.

As a newbie kidlit writer, I had to discover much of the information you’ve learned here on my own. There were few picture book blogs when I began my journey seven years ago, and most of the craft knowledge I gained was from SCBWI events. I would take copious notes then dash home to transcribe them with lightning fast fingers. Doing so helped the information soak into my brain. Then I decided to slap my notes on a blog for others to benefit. After all, not everyone is able to attend SCBWI events.

To this day, the most popular post on my blog remains the one I created when I learned about picture book construction from an editor—the difference between a self-ended picture book and one with colored ends—and how you do not have 32 pages to tell a tale in a 32-page picture book. No one had ever bothered to explain this to me before, and I had never seen it diagrammed. That post from February 2009—almost five years ago—gets the majority of this blog’s traffic, even during PiBoIdMo!

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But I’m also emotional because—hey—picture books crave emotion. A story is truly defined as an emotional journey. The character in the beginning of your story is not who she is at the end. She has grown. Changed. EVOLVED.

Your picture book should contain a universal emotional truth to which a child can identify. The reader must empathize with your character. They must know how your character feels. They must become invested in the emotional journey.

Let’s examine some emotions in popular picture books:

emilybrown

The premise:
Emily’s favorite toy Stanley gets bunny-napped by mean old Queen Gloriana.

The emotional truth:
Children understand the love and joy a cherished toy brings. And they understand the misery of that kind of loss.

Other lost-toy tales:
KNUFFLE BUNNY & KNUFFLE BUNNY TOO by Mo Willems
EXTRA YARN by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen
I LOST MY BEAR by Jules Feiffer

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rubythecopycat

The premise:
Ruby is the new girl in school and she just wants to be noticed. But she goes about it the wrong way—by copying everything Angela wears, says and does.

The emotional truth:
Children feel trepidation surrounding new situations. Being young, their lives are full of “new”. Many books deal with this issue, from welcoming a new baby into the family (be careful, this topic is overdone), to being the new kid in school. Other emotional themes in these books are loneliness, fitting in, and being yourself.

Other making-friends/new kid tales:
LISSY’S FRIENDS by Grace Lin
YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND! by Peter Brown
NEVILLE by Norton Juster and G. Brian Karas

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loudsmovein

The premise:
Everything was always quiet on Earmuffle Avenue, that is, until the Louds moved in. The quiet neighbors became quite upset. They asked the Louds to tone it down, but once silence descended, the neighbors realized they missed the boisterous family.

The emotional truth:
Children must constantly adjust to a variety of people, ideas and perspectives around them. And they have to assert themselves and grow into their own little personalities. They understand how “different” some people can be. They understand how they can sometimes be the “different” one. Books like THE LOUDS demonstrate how it’s OK to be whom you are, and that it’s possible to appreciate people who are different from you. And the book does this without being preachy. In fact, it’s mighty good, rowdy fun.

Other being-different/being-yourself tales:
CALVIN CAN’T FLY by Jennifer Berne & Keith Bendis
COWBOY CAMP by Tammi Sauer & Mike Reed
CHRYSANTHEMUM by Kevin Henkes

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monstorefrontcover

The premise:
Zack is tired of his pesky little sister overtaking his bedroom. So he buys monsters to scare Gracie away. But the monsters don’t do their jobs. In the end, however, the siblings learn to appreciate each another and to cooperate.

The emotional truth:
Many children have siblings and they understand the contentious nature of that relationship. They can relate to a sibling either being pesky, or being shunned and teased by an older sibling. So they can understand Zack’s eagerness to spook Gracie and Gracie’s desire to be around her brother. And they also know that sometimes a sibling can be the best playmate ever.

Other sibling tales:
THE CHICKEN OF THE FAMILY by Mary Amato & Delphine Durand
SCRIBBLE by Deborah Freedman
DAFFODIL by Emily Jenkins &  Tomek Bogacki

These stories aren’t just about a toy rabbit, a classroom, loud neighbors or kooky monsters. There is an emotional layer woven into each tale. The child reading the story can empathize with the characters because they have felt similar emotions. Sure, they may never have been visited by the Queen’s footmen or crawled into a trap-door monster store—those are the fantastical elements of the stories. But these elements are grounded in reality by EMOTION.

Other emotions in picture books:

  • Fear/Worry
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Disappointment/Loss
  • Sadness
  • Embarrassment
  • Impatience
  • Nervousness/Anticipation
  • Loneliness
  • Excitement
  • Thankfulness/Appreciation
  • Pride
  • Love
  • Happiness

And there’s more. This is by no means an exhaustive list!

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to identify the emotion in random picture books. Go to the library, pull some off the shelf and read. What emotions are in the tale? How easily can a child relate to these emotions?

And don’t forget a box of tissues. Some books are so lovey-dovey, I can’t help but choke up.

***blows into hankie***

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Here’s a request from me—if you have enjoyed PiBoIdMo 2013 and reading this blog, I ask for your nomination for “The Top 10 Blogs for Writers” over at Write to Done. Please note the nomination will not count without the link to my site (taralazar.com) and a comment regarding why you are nominating it. And of course, feel free to nominate someone else’s deserving blog instead of this one. Only one nomination counts, so make it count!

Also, signed and personalized copies of THE MONSTORE are available for holiday purchase directly from The Bookworm in Bernardsville, NJ. Just give them a call at 908-766-4599 and I’ll run over there to sign your copy. (Don’t worry, it’s not far. And besides, who doesn’t love spending time at a bookstore?)

Thanks again for participating in PiBoIdMo 2013! It’s your enthusiasm that makes this such a worthwhile event. Prize selections will begin this week! Good luck to all!

Wow, I was blown away by the creativity of the kids who entered my Halloween Skype monster contest! I asked them to draw the monster they’d like to purchase at The Monstore, and they came through with some very useful companions, just right for doing tricky things around the house. In fact, I’d like to borrow all of them!

It was tough to pick just five finalists, as I received nearly 200 entries! But here they are, in no particular order.

Please leave a comment voting for your favorite entry #. The monster with the most votes will win a Skype classroom visit with me on Halloween! 

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MONSTER #1
REPRESENTING MS. ROSENBERG’S 2nd GRADE CLASS
MS. GO EYES by JULIA B.!

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I like how Ms. Go Eyes can dance with Julia whenever she pleases, plus this monster can reach high to get the most coveted snacks in the cabinet. Of course, Ms. Go Eyes loves THE MONSTORE book, too! Congratulations, Julia!

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MONSTER #2
REPRESENTING MS. MELLIN’S 2nd GRADE CLASS
TRASH MONSTER by SIERRA V.!

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Well, Trash Monster can certainly find a welcomed place in my home. I like how neat and environmentally conscientious he is. And he’s so brightly colored, he’ll fit right in with my decor. Congratulations, Sierra!

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MONSTER #3
REPRESENTING MS. MACCRI’S 2nd GRADE CLASS
BULLEYE by NATHAN H.!

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Considering that October is National Bullying Prevention Month, I think everyone could use a friend like Bulleye right now. He’s so fierce-looking, he just has to stand there and bullies will steer clear. Congratulations, Nathan!

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MONSTER #4
REPRESENTING MS. ABATE’S 1st GRADE CLASS
SPARKLES by KATIE F.!

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As Sparkles is already aware, we could all use a little more sparkle in our lives. Everything she touches glitters and shines. What a happy-making monster! Congratulations, Katie!

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MONSTER #5
REPRESENTING MS. BROWN’S 1st GRADE CLASS
DAGA BY DOANH!
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Ms. Brown’s class got very creative and used shapes to create their monsters. They even counted up all the shapes. I’m impressed! This monster’s needed in my house because my daughter does not like to eat meat. It merely touches her tongue and she spits it out.  What’s a mom to do? Maybe she will follow Daga’s example. Congratulations, Doanh! (And wow, what neat handwriting!)

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Thank you to everyone who participated in the Skype monster contest. It was so difficult to choose the finalists because all the creations were terrific. I’m sincerely blown away by the creativity expressed in this exercise!

Kindly comment below with your # monster choice by SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27th and I will announce the winner on the 28th!

GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE! I HOPE TO SEE YOU ON HALLOWEEN!

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In THE MONSTORE, Zack just wants to buy a monster to spook his pesky little sister, Gracie. (As you may know, things don’t work to plan.)

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But when I do school visits, I’ve found that kids have all kinds of things they’d like a monster to do for them.

  • Shoot cupcakes from their feet.
  • Hide under their bed and scare away OTHER monsters.
  • Walk their pet pot-belly pig.
  • Eat clouds so it stops raining.
  • Reach the shelf where Mom keeps HER chocolate.

And even more outrageously clever tasks.

So here’s your child’s chance! What would THEIR monster do? What would it look like?

Print out this MONSTORE coloring page (courtesy of illustrator Wendy Martin) and then email me a pic of your child’s monsterly creation by October 17th. (My email button is in the top left column of this blog.)

I’ll pick 5 finalists and post them here, then you’ll have a week to vote for the winner.

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(Click on the image for larger version, mouse over for a + magnifying glass, click, then you can then print 8 1/2 x 11. Or, click here for a PDF: Monstore Draw Your Own Monster.)

The winner will earn their class a signed book and a SKYPE VISIT from me on HALLOWEEN(And if the child is homeschooled, I’ll Skype with them at home or anywhere they choose.)

The contest is open to kids through age 12. Whole classes can enter. If I had a lawyer, you might expect a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo to appear here. But I don’t. So there isn’t. (PHEW!)

Any questions? Ask away below.

Happy creating and I’ll hope to SEE YOU on HALLOWEEN!

This business requires a lot of waiting.

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Inspector Clouseau found out that THE MONSTORE, while it will be in Barnes and Noble stores, is actually slated for their Halloween holiday push. So, you might not see it there quite yet.

Therefore I am extending my “in the wild” contest to October 31. That gives you plenty of time to spot it out there!

While I have your attention, that Clouseau gif reminded me of one of my favorite movie jokes from The Pink Panther Strikes Again.

Clouseau (looking at dog): Does your dog bite?

Innkeeper: No.

Clouseau (reaching to pet dog): Nice doggie.

Dog: *snarls and snaps*

Clouseau: I thought you said your dog did not bite. 

Innkeeper: That is not my dog.

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Happy Friday, all!

Hey troops and peeps! YOU DID IT!

Barnes & Noble has placed an order for THE MONSTORE so it should be spotted in the wild WITHIN DAYS!

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And to thank everyone who rallied by my side, I’m holding a contest.

Take a photo of THE MONSTORE at Barnes and Noble and email it to me at tarawrites [at] yahoo [dot] com. (It should be in stores for their Halloween holiday push.)

I’ll pick a random winner who will receive a signed book and SWAG (when it arrives)…plus a picture book critique. Deadline to enter is October 31st!

You made it happen! By reviewing THE MONSTORE on GoodReads and Amazon, by calling and dropping by Barnes and Noble—I am certain that this wouldn’t have happened without YOU.

So I am extremely grateful and I feel blessed. My most heartfelt thanks!

*sniff* *blows nose*

As a children's book author and mother of two, I'm pushing a stroller along the path to publication. I collect shiny doodads on the journey and share them here. You've found a kidlit treasure box.

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