Author Tara Lazar

Happy Friday! I'm celebrating the last day of the 2012-2013 school year with debut author Tara Lazar. She dropped by Watch. Connect. Read. to finish my sentences. I wrote the words in red, and she wrote the words in black. Thank you, Tara! 

My debut picture book is a story about an underground emporium, The Monstore, that only kids know about. There’s a secret trap door entrance, a password knock and a specific entry fee. Once inside, you can purchase a very useful monster, just right for doing tricky things around the house. But choose wisely! The Monstore doesn’t accept returns or exchanges. EVER.

James Burks’ illustrations have this cool 3D effect that’s both mysterious and kooky but not too spooky. When I grow up, I wanna be James Burks.

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them) is a blog I created when I began my journey to become a published children’s book author. At the time, back in 2007, it seemed like the right thing to do. I had no clue it would turn into my second passion, right behind creating stories for kids.

Picture Book Idea Month is an event I began because I was jealous of the NaNoWriMo’ers having all the fun in November. The first year, 2008, it was a challenge just for me—to create 30 picture book story ideas in 30 days. The next year I decided to slap it up on my blog, thinking maybe 10 people would join me. Over 100 signed up! And last year there were over 750 participants. Some huge names in kidlit have guest blogged for PiBoIdMo, and I’ve been blown away by the response. I didn’t anticipate it would grow into such an anticipated event! Plus, so many success stories have emerged from PiBoIdMo—at least a dozen picture book deals. It’s all about creating great books for kids!

My "Don't Lollygag, Lollapalooza!" workshop is all about exploring unusual, crazy, fun words in the English language and using them more in our writing. The kids are challenged to write a flash fiction story using oodles of whirligig words. (Sufferin' succotash!) I also encourage students to create their own whatchamacallit words by mashing up existing words and writing new definitions

Reading is fun. ‘Nuff said.

Picture books are my passion. They’re also a child’s first introduction to literature, so I believe they must be fun, first and foremost, to encourage a life-long love of reading.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me out to lunch. I love good food and kidlit conversation!

I am giving away a copy of The Monstore

Rules for the Giveaway

1. It will run from 5/31 to 11:59 P.M. on 6/2. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 


  1. Love this interview, and love the juicy titbits I'm reading in the lead-up to the big day. Of course, I'd also love to win a copy of the book, too! ;)

    Congratulations, Tara. Enjoy. Enjoy. ENJOY!

  2. Thank you, Mr. Schu. It was fun answering your questions. And I'll take a raincheck for lunch. Do you like Thai?

  3. Fun interview. And I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

  4. Brilliant concept, great writing, adorable illustrations--- a recipe for success! Loved the interview. Congratulations, Tara!

  5. I think my students will LOVE a shopping trip at the Monstore. What a clever idea! I can imagine some very creative stories being written after reading this book. (By the way, Tara, Mr. Schu usually eats a bagel for lunch during the school year. Perhaps Thai on weekends and summers?)

  6. Can't wait to read MONSTORE Tara! Fun interview. Will there be a prize for the person who correctly guesses how many people will register for PiBoIdMo 2013??? :-D

  7. I'm very intrigued and can't wait to read this book!

  8. Fun interview with the ever funny and creative Tara Lazar!

  9. Looking forward to reading this book. Fun 'interview', Tara & Mr. Schu!

  10. My copy is coming Tuesday!! I can't wait to receive it.

    I'm am so thankful for Tara and PiBoIdMo!

  11. Tara, what an adorable, creative concept for a book and the illustrations are SO "fun" and appealing! Yay for you on finally arriving at your release date! :) Enjoy the NJ SCBWI conference. Sorry I can't be there this year. Good luck with your Keynote Speech! :D


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