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The Monstore

The Monstore


Have you ever tried to find a way to keep your sibling out of your room? That is exactly what Zack does in Monstore written by Tara Lazar and illustrated by James Burks.

If you have a sibling, you know that sometimes they drive you crazy. They come in your room without permission. They wake you up in the middle of the night because they are scared or lonely or just want to talk. They invade your personal space.

My two sons still share a room and my youngest is always crawling in the bed with the oldest at night. My oldest son is too big to share his twin size bed with his brother but his brother just can’t stay in his own bed. They fight about this quite often. I understand how both of them feel. My oldest wants his space so he can sleep and my youngest wants the security of having his brother next to him.

The struggles of childhood and teenage years. I sometimes wonder what my boys would do if they didn’t have each other or how they are going to feel when they no longer need each the way they do now.

It is very important as their mom that I help them see that the relationship they have is not like any other relationship they will ever have. I try to provide activities they can do together to help them strengthen the bond they have had since my oldest met his baby brother. I encourage them to talk to each other and sometimes I encourage them to fight. They have to learn how to work out their problems and what better way to do it than with someone they love and trust.

I also encourage them to create together. Learning how to work together is something everyone needs. How can we compromise and get what we both want? How can we solve a problem without making the other person feel small or stupid? How can we encourage each other and bring out their best?

After reading Monstore, my kids worked together to create their own monsters and build their own store. They had a lot of fun making pompom monsters and laughing at how silly they were.

Give your kids the opportunity and supplies they need to work together. See what they come up with. You help too. Talk to them while you are creating. Ask them questions. Why are you making this monster like that? If one of your monsters was real, which one would it be and why?


  1. Create a Monstore
    • Use pompoms, chenille stems, googly eyes, construction paper, anything you can find to create several different monsters. You can use the book as a guide or create your own.
    • Find an old box – small cardboard box, shoe box, box from a case of water or soda
    • Decorate the inside to look like a store.Create your own Monstore
      • Create a space for each monster.
      • Set a price for each monster
    • Create monster money
    • Buy and sell your monsters with your brother or sister or a friend using your monster money.

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My sons spent hours creating monsters for their Monstore. They have started working on the store but they go all out, so they have a lot left to do.

Benefits of art activity:

  1. Children will explore different materials and see how they can use those materials to create something new.
  2. Cutting and gluing develop fine-motor skills.
  3. Creating a store inside a box helps develop spatial relations. How can everything fit? Where would be the best place for small monsters, for large monsters?
  4. Children will learn how to run and manage a store. How much should we charge? How do we count money and make change? How do we make our monsters appealing so others want to buy them?
  5. Children will learn cooperation skills by working together to build the store.
  6. Children will learn customer service skills.

Outschool Story Time and Art

I am offering a story time and art club on Outschool.com. If you are interested in sharing stories and creating art with your children, check out my class here. I will read a new story each week and walk you through an art activity that goes along with that day’s book.