Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen
Rejoice readers, two of children’s literature’s celebrated creators are back together again with their wry humour and unique take on the world.
Sam and Dave are on a mission to find something ‘spectacular’. This involves digging and quite a lot of it. They dig a dirty big hole and find nothing spectacular – in fact, they find nothing! Maybe they need to change direction, so instead of down they head across. Are you getting the picture? Is there treasure in the ground? Their dog seems to know but unfortunately Sam and Dave aren’t paying too much attention to him. To tell more would spoil it. However, let me guarantee you this: you will chuckle at what you can see and Sam and Dave cannot.
You will also delight in Jon Klassen’s masterful ownership of the page as he quietly lets uncluttered expanses tell the story of that quintessential kids’ activity of digging for treasure. Mac Barnett has thrown in some classic twists and in an Alice in Wonderland-type climax, where Sam and Dave go falling, falling down the hole, he plays with your powers of observation and asks the existential question: which reality are they really in?
Kids’ picture books don’t get any better than this and, of course, it will win awards. For ages 3 and up.
Alexa Dretzke is a Children’s & YA Book Specialist at Readings Hawthorn.