Sam & Dave dig a hole

Mac Barnett

Book - 2014

Sam and Dave are sure they will discover something exciting if they just keep digging their hole.

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Children's Room Show me where

jE/Barnett
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jE/Barnett
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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press 2014.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
ISBN
9780763662295
0763662291
Main Author
Mac Barnett (author)
Other Authors
Jon Klassen (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Sam and Dave, each wearing baseball caps and wielding long-handled shovels, set out to dig a hole. How big a hole? "We won't stop digging until we find something spectacular," says Dave, so off they go, digging ever deeper while their little dog follows their progress. A cross section of their dig reveals that Sam and Dave come awfully close to their prize, but they keep digging and missing treasure until they decide to take a nap, during which they tumble right through the earth. Their landing sets them right back on safe ground though, and that, of course, is pretty spectacular. Klassen's pebbly, earth-toned, colored-pencil and digital illustrations of Sam and Dave's dig are exaggerated to comic effect, especially when coupled with Barnett's dry, simple text. Subtle visual clues (the final absence of dirt on Sam's and Dave's clothes; a closing house that's just slightly different from the opening one) suggest there's more to the story than meets the eye, and canny little ones will likely be delighted by the beguiling ending. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: From I Want My Hat Back (2011) to The Dark (2013), New York Times best-selling Klassen's titles have made him a star of the moment. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Barnett's comic voice is at its driest as he recounts that quintessential American childhood activity—the digging of the giant hole. His deadpan prose mimics the declarative sentences of early readers: "On Monday Sam and Dave dug a hole. ‘When should we stop digging?' asked Sam. ‘We are on a mission,' said Dave." Klassen's boys, with identical poker faces and glassy expressions, hold their shovels American Gothic–style, considering their next move. Cross-sections of earth show them further and further down, and comic tension erupts as readers see gigantic diamonds buried at intervals underground while Sam and Dave tunnel on, missing every one: "So Dave went one way, and Sam went another. But they didn't find anything spectacular." Meanwhile, their dog's pursuit of a small bone leads further downward, possibly through the Earth and out the "other side." They land in their own backyard again—or do they? Barnett and Klassen (Extra Yarn) dangle the prospect of fantastic subterranean treasure before readers, but leave them with an even greater reward: a tantalizingly creepy and open-ended conclusion. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 1—The winning picture book team that created Extra Yarn (HarperCollins, 2012) is back together in this understated, humorous, and charmingly perplexing tale. Sam and Dave, who are either identical twin boys or friends who look astonishingly alike and share a sartorial sensibility, set out to dig a hole in the hopes of finding "something spectacular." With shovels in hand, the boys (with an eager terrier looking on) begin to tunnel into the soil, but they just can't seem to find anything of interest. What works spectacularly is the clever play between words and pictures. As in Klassen's This Is Not My Hat (Candlewick, 2012), readers are in on a joke to which the characters are oblivious. Namely, that each time the boys change direction, they narrowly miss discovering increasingly enormous jewels hidden in the earth. The book progresses with each verso showing the boys' progress, while the recto features simple text, mostly dialogue between the practical but unlucky explorers. About halfway through, a spread reveals a diamond so large it can barely be contained on the page; it dwarfs the two boys and their trusty canine companion—but all for naught, since they decide to dig in a different direction. Exhausted and covered from head to toe in dirt, Sam and Dave decide to take a rest. Klassen's use of muted earth tones and uncomplicated compositions is paired well with Barnett's deadpan humor. As they nap in their hole, the dog continues to dig…until suddenly the trio is falling; they soon land in a place that looks an awful lot like home. Small details reveal that this house and its inhabitants are ever so slightly changed. Are they dreaming? On the other side of the world? In a different dimension? Readers will have to puzzle that one out for themselves.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal [Page 74]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Hoping to find something spectacular, Sam and Dave begin digging an immense hole and enjoy an unexpectedly spectacular day despite finding nothing. By the author of the Caldecott Honor-winning Extra Yarn.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Sam and Dave are sure they will discover something exciting if they just keep digging their hole.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A 2015 Caldecott Honor BookWith perfect pacing, the multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen dig down for a deadpan tale full of visual humor.Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary ' and finding it in a manner you'd never expect.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A 2015 Caldecott Honor BookWith perfect pacing, the multi-award-winning, New York Times best-selling team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen dig down for a deadpan tale full of visual humor.Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.