PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Two sure-fire kid pleasers!


The Monstore is a one-stop shop for all your monsterly needs in this enormously funny story that’s full of friendly, kooky creatures. At the back of Frankensweet’s Candy Shoppe, under the last box of sour gumballs, there’s a trapdoor.

Knock five times fast, hand over the bag of squirmy worms, and you can crawl inside The Monstore.

The Monstore is the place to go for all of your monsterly needs. Which is perfect, since Zack definitely has a monsterly need. The problem? His pesky little sister, Gracie, who never pays attention to that “Keep Out” sign on Zack’s door—the one he has made especially for her.

But when Zack’s monsters don’t exactly work as planned, he soon finds out that the Monstore has a few rules: No Refunds. No exchanges. No exceptions.


Street magic performer. Award-winning ice sculptor. Hog-calling champion. Boogeyman assassin. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been. Instead, she prefers baking with her daughters, creating jewelry, and writing stories for children. THE MONSTORE is her first book, inspired by her pesky little brother (who is no longer so pesky).


A delightful picture book full of humor and fun, The Monstore is imaginative and fun to read out loud.  I tried this out on my nephew and he loved it. In fact he wanted me to read it again (he doesn't do that a lot, he actually seems to prefer a variety of books rather than the same ones over and over). I really enjoyed reading this one myself and plan to use it in my library in the fall.  The text is creative and fun to read and the illustrations complement it perfectly. I'm a big fan of bright and colorful illustrations and these fit that description to a tee.  The solution to Zach's problem of a pesky sister provides a nice twist to how one might expect the story to end. A wonderfully creative addition to the wonderful world of children's picture books, I can highly recommend this one.


Every super hero gets his powers from somewhere. The young hero of this book, Rocco, thinks his abilities come from his shock of red hair, and the longer it gets, the stronger he becomes. He even has a posse of super friends with wild hair of their own. Our hero is unstoppable--until the day he's dragged to the super evil villain's lair and robbed of his powers. How will he face his friends? Will he ever regain his super hero-ness? A girl who has been watching all along offers the gang a chance to save the day and get their groove back.

With bold images that burst with energy from white backgrounds and narration as earnest as Superman himself, SUPER HAIR-O AND THE BARBER OF DOOM is a feel-good and funny book for emergent comic book fans and parents who grew up on them.

John Rocco collaborated with Whoopie Goldberg on the picture book Alice and was Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering and served as pre-production art director at Dreamworks for the ? lm Shrek. His children’s books include FU FINDS THE WAY, WOLF! WOLF!, and MOONPOWDER, and his illustrations are also featured on the jackets of Rick Riordan’s best-selling YA series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. John Rocco lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom is laugh out-loud funny. The main character is a kid named Rocco (hmm, I don't think that's a coincidence) who loves to be a super hero.  He and his friends believe that their 'superpowers' come from their rather impressively out of control hair.  When they lose their hair they believe they have lost their powers, but have they really? With appealing, funny illustrations and a comic style exaggerated text this book is perfect for sharing with all those super hero crazy kids out there. My super hero crazy nephew loved this book, what more do I need to say.  The only problem I had with it was the fact that the child that needed to be helped by Rocco and his friends was a girl with a doll. I found that a bit irritating, I'm not a big fan of girls needing to be rescued all the time. But that is a minor issue, the book is fun with lots of potential of discussion about what makes a real hero. 



Popular posts from this blog

SERIES THURSDAY: Flight of the Bluebird by Kara LeReau -- Review & Author Post

EARLY READER REVIEWS: Kick it Mo! and Fergus and Zeke at the Science Fair

MMGM: Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams