Sam & Dave Dig a Hole
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press 10/14/2015
32 pages Age 4—8
“Sam and Dave are digging a hole, and they will not stop until they find something spectacular.” [inside jacket]
The premise of Sam & Dave Dig a Hole is simple: the two boys are on a mission to find something spectacular and are determined to dig until they find something. They could find a dinosaur bone or maybe dig all the way to China. Along with Sam and Dave is their dog (no name). When the boys fail to find something after digging a hole “so deep their heads were underground,” Sam and Dave change course and dig sideways, then they split up and dig up on a diagonal, then back down again until, tired from digging, the two boys fall asleep. All the while Sam and Dave find nothing, until . . .
I enjoyed Sam & Dave Dig a Hole immensely. This is a delightful book young children, especially young boys, will enjoy. The humor is subtle—just under the surface (pun intended). While Sam and Dave dig, with their dog keeping a watchful eye, their cat sits atop the hole looking in at the boys’ progress. You will need to look closely at all the detail, in every item, in each relatively sparse spread, but if you do, the payoff is a huge laugh. The illustrations are engagingly simple, rendered digitally and in colored pencil by Caldecott Medal winner Jon Klassen. Sam & Dave Dig a Hole is about persistence, the willingness to change course, and finding the spectacular where you are and where you go. Sam and Dave exert a tremendous amount of energy trying to find something spectacular. They finally find it, and learn that the journey can be just as spectacular as the “thing” they are yearning to find.
Has something been out of your reach and you wonder if you should keep trying? If so, read Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, because sometimes what seems out of reach is closer than you think. Perfect for story time readings and afternoon fun.
SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE. Text copyright © 2014 by Mac Barnett. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Jon Klassen. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.
Purchase Sam & Dave Dig a Hole at Amazon—Book Depository—Candlewick Press.
Learn more about Sam & Dave Dig a Hole HERE.
A Story-Hour Kit can be found HERE.
“Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen Make a Book” transcript found HERE.
Meet the author, Mac Barnett, at his website: http://www.macbarnett.com/
Meet the illustrator, Jon Klassen, at his website: http://jonklassen.tumblr.com/
Find more picture books at the Candlewick Press website: http://www.candlewick.com/
Caldecott Medal Honor Book
E. B. White Read Aloud Award
Irma S and James H Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature
Wanda Gág Read Aloud Book Award
New York Times Best Seller
New York Times Notable Book
Washington Post Best Children’s Book of 2014
PBS Best Picture Book of 2014
Guardian Best Book of 2014
Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of 2014
Kirkus Best Book of 2014
Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2014
Globe & Mail 100 Best Books of 2014 Selection
Huffington Post Best Picture Book of 2014
BuzzFeed Best Picture Book of 2014
Association for Library Service to Children Notables Selection
Toronto Public Library First & Best Book of 2014
Reading Today Best Picture Book of 2014
Junior Library Guild Selection
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen, and received from Candlewick Press, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I love, love, LOVE this book and I can’t count how many times I’ve watched that trailer! lol
I agree, it is a terrific trailer. I hope you are able to get the book, and maybe signed when at one of the fairs you go to and write so lovingly about on your blog. You could always try digging a hole to find your something spectacular. If you do, let me know what you find. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the book as much as you do the trailer. 🙂
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Ah, Sue, I bought this book the day it was released and on the shelves! 😀 I just wanted to see what you had to say about it, my dear. I think these two are KidLit geniuses! 😀 And, you know, if I thought digging a hole would lead me to something spectacular—I’d do it! lol
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Comment from Rosemond Cates:
Sam & Dave Dig A Hole has been a favorite since we got it last year. I can almost recite it! My boys never, ever get tired of the text or hilarious illustrations!
Thanks for sharing, Rose. I moved your comment from I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard, by Jennifer K. Mann, to the Sam & Dave Dig Hole review (the system wouldn’t change photos–so your original comment, with your picture, remains up on I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard).
I can picture your boys laughing at every turn Sam & Dave make, just missing something spectacular. 🙂
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