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Literature / Dinosaur Vs

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Dinosaur vs. is a series of children's books by Bob Shea. The series focuses on a young (he's just starting preschool) red dinosaur who is named simply Dinosaur and who appears to be adopted by a human couple (he refers to the female as "Mommy" in "Dinosaur vs. Mommy".)

Each book has a formula: Dinosaur takes on several challenges, which are pretty mundane but are hammed up. For example, Dinosaur vs. a pile of leaves. He wins every challenge until the challenge that's in the title arises, which he always loses, with the exception of "Dinosaur vs. the Library" which ends with both him and the library winning. He also roars an awful lot. There are currently six books: "Dinosaur vs. School", "Dinosaur vs. Mommy", "Dinosaur vs. Bedtime", "Dinosaur vs. the Potty", "Dinosaur vs. the Library", and "Dinosaur vs. Santa".

Dinosaur vs. provides examples of

  • Ambiguous Situation: In "Dinosaur vs. the Potty", did the potty win by Dinosaur having an accident or by Dinosaur giving in and using the bathroom despite not wanting to? The text reads "Close one, Dinosaur, very close" but he appears to be standing at the toilet.
  • Artistic License Paleontology: Dinosaur is living in modern times.
  • Cheerful Child: Dinosaur is very energetic and jovial. He's also just starting preschool, which would make him about three.
  • Christmas Episode: One book is about Santa.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": The dinosaur's name appears to simply be "Dinosaur".
  • First Day of School Episode: In "Dinosaur vs. School", Dinosaur starts preschool.
  • Furry Reminder: Dinosaur mainly acts like a human kid, but he also roars a lot.
  • Garnishing the Story: The dinosaur, as well as the hammy narration, is what keeps this series from being just a humdrum series about day-to-day life.
  • Gigantic Gulp: In "Dinosaur vs. the Potty", Dinosaur drinks an entire jug of lemonade.
  • Good Parents: His adoptive human parents seem good at raising him. His mother in "Dinosaur vs. Mommy" wins simply by kissing him.
  • Happy Rain: In "Dinosaur vs. the Potty", Dinosaur plays in the rain.
  • Imaginary Friend: "Dinosaur vs. the Potty" reveals that he has a pretend whale.
  • Interspecies Adoption: A human couple with a dinosaur son.
  • Keet: Dinosaur does everything with enthusiasm.
  • Large Ham: Dinosaur acts like everything he does is an epic challenge.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The books act like Dinosaur is winning against tough opponents, but really they're just mundane things like "school" and "the library".
  • Potty Dance: In "Dinosaur vs. the Potty", the narrator says that Dinosaur is doing a victory dance, but then says, "That's not a victory dance, that looks like a potty dance!".
  • Potty Emergency: In "Dinosaur vs. the Potty", Dinosaur has to pee so badly that he has to run to the bathroom.
  • Potty Failure: Zigzagged in "Dinosaur vs. the Potty". The potty is stated to win and the narration says that it's "close", but Dinosaur appears to be standing at the toilet.
  • Toilet Humour: "Dinosaur vs. the Potty" is all about the potty, as the name suggests, and ends with him needing to pee.