Friday, November 28, 2014

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

When two creative rock stars join forces, great books happen. Author Mac Barnett and artist Jon Klassen previously collaborated on the delightful picture book Extra Yarn. Their latest creation is the playful and subversive Sam & Dave Dig a Hole. It's about two boys doing what kids like, accompanied by their dog who appears to know more than they do.

Readers know more too. Barnett plays the straight man here with the words.
   "When should we stop digging?" asked Sam.
   "We are on a mission," said Dave.
   "We won't stop digging until we find something spectacular."

Klassen's illustrations provide both the real story and the humorous contrast with the text. The earth shown in cross-section reveals that the boys decide to change directions every time they get close to treasure (increasingly massive gemstones, a bone).

Sharp readers will spot the differences when the boys return home empty-handed. The surreal ending makes Sam & Dave Dig a Hole satisfying for all ages.

Look for other wonderful picture books by these talented guys, including Chloe and the Lion (Mac Barnett & Adam Rex), House Held Up by Trees (Ted Kooser & Jon Klassen) and my all-time favourite, I Want My Hat Back (Jon Klassen).

No comments: