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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dinosaur vs. The Potty, written and illustrated by Bob Shea. Hyperion Books, $17.99 ages 2 and up

"Dinosaur versus...
making lemonade!
roar! roar!
mix! squeeze!
roar! ROAR!
And he doesn't need to
use the potty!"

Oh boy, Dinosaur has all of the personality of the little people he is portraying! He knows when he needs to go to the bathroom, thank you very much. It is not at this moment.

So, he takes on other contests with the potty and wins them all. He makes lemonade and wins. Nope, no potty! Next he faces the sprinkler. Guess what? He wins again. No potty yet! On he goes...what about a three juice box lunch? Surely that will lead him to the bathroom. Wrong! He has no need.

As we have come to know in his previous tales, Dinosaur is a spirited one, and has little use for the conventions that would make life with a toddler easier. In this one, a swimming pool and puddles don't even unnerve him. A spouting whale? Certainly not!

By now, even my subconscious is thinking about a visit. What is Dinosaur doing? Is that a victory dance? Maybe not. Will he make it? I wonder.

Kids love the roaring, the bravado and the humor that Bob Shea infuses into his tales of a small dinosaur with a big ego, and a huge voice. Cheering for him as he fights the need to go to the bathroom is something his audience is sure to understand...and maybe their parents as well. It makes for a fun readaloud. It is perfect for those children just learning the joys of reading on their own. It won't be long until you hear them sharing it with anyone who will listen.

The artwork has strong lines and color, with repetitive text displayed all around the pages. Backgrounds add context for young readers, who will use it to help them figure out the text. What could be better than that?

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