Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

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.

(New to my blog? All my children’s book recommendations are here, or check out my children’s books Pinterest board. My book posts all use affiliate links, but check your local library too!)

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?

16 thoughts on “Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

  1. Skye

    I had never even heard of that show so I Googled it, too funny that it’s the same names! I wonder if it was intentional.

  2. Nikki @ MBAsahm

    How exciting! I always get the best book recommendations from you! My little guy is loving books more and more every day, so I can’t wait to read this to him! Thanks :)

  3. Michelle

    I absolutely love when books have “bonus features” in the illustrations! It makes for such a rich experience when reading aloud!

  4. Skye

    I guess digging is pretty popular with many kids! I wonder what’s the deepest any kid has gotten while trying to get to the other side of the world…

  5. Jill @ Do Try This at Home

    Guess what?!? I got Sam & Dave for my class at book fair last week! Can’t wait to read it to them! We have the most awesome book fair of any school I’ve ever been to – we get a ton of new hardcovers, plus paperbacks and all kinds of books! It fills up the whole gymnasium.

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