It was a good day when the folks at Candlewick Press sent over a review copy of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen. I feel like I should send them a handwritten thank you note! As soon as I read it, I knew Boy Detective was going to love it. As soon as he read it, he wanted to read it again.
It’s Monday. Sam and Dave are on a mission. They’re going to dig until they find something spectacular! They’re bringing chocolate milk and animal cookies for fuel, and their dog is coming along too. What amazing treasures will they find?
This book is so funny! It rewards the reader who pays close attention to details in the illustrations. On the first pass, you’ll get the big jokes as Sam and Dave change their strategy for digging multiple times (and ignore their dog!). But when you get to the end and realize something is very, very odd, then I bet you $5 you’ll spend the next 10 minutes or more going back through the book like a detective.
A very young child might miss it, but my seven year old got it pretty quickly and was delighted with the oddity of the ending.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole was released October 14th, so my local library doesn’t have it yet. You can buy it, or even better, ask your library system to order several copies if they haven’t already!
Then once you’ve read the book, watch the video of Barnett and Klassen digging a hole. I’m serious.
Barnett and Klassen have showed up in several of my kids’ book recommendation posts before! They worked together previously on Extra Yarn (in my magic kids’ book post). Barnett wrote the amazing Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed The World (in my robots post), and Klassen wrote and illustrated This is Not My Hat (in my animals post). We love them both. They create the best kind of children’s picture books, the ones that are so good, they should really be thought of as all-ages books that happen to have pictures.
I usually do round-ups of books on a theme, but it’s been kind of nice to just talk about one book and give it and the creators the attention they deserve. Maybe we should do this more often, you think?