Written and Illustrated by Bob Shea
Disney Hyperion Books, 2008
Roar! I’m a dinosaur! Roar! Nothing can stop me!
The plot in a nutshell: A dinosaur has a full day of battles, and then meets the ultimate foe – bedtime.
Dinosaur goes up against a pile of leaves and, with a mighty roar, he wins. Next, he takes on a big slide, climbing to the top and roaring all the way down to win again. His next challenge is a bowl of spaghetti, which he eats up, roaring as he chews. He defeats talking grown-ups, bath time and tooth brushing and is then ready to face the challenge of bedtime. He roars and roars, louder at first and the softer and softer as his eyes start to close. The roars change to snores and bedtime wins.
This was the first book in author/illustrator Bob Shea’s wonderful Dinosaur series which has grown to include six books, so far. Dinosaur is an awesome character who meets every challenge, regardless of its size, with confidence and courage. When he battles the ‘talking parents,’ the human parents gasp with fright at the sudden appearance of a dinosaur. So this is a subtle indication that the main character is just pretending to be a dinosaur and is, in all probability, just a wonderfully imaginative kid. I love that this is merely hinted at and not spelled out with a final picture showing a sleeping boy in dino pajamas. Mr. Shea’s illustrations are simple, featuring big shapes in bold colors, with occasional photographs of objects and textured or patterned backgrounds. Having read a few of the subsequent Dinosaur books, it was great to read this one and see where it all started.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that you can try to fight bedtime, but it almost always wins in the end.