Reader Reviewed Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Books of the Year 2014 Award-winning illustrator Jon Klassen has created a second delightful and surprising picture book with Mac Barnett, author of The Dark. Here two boys dig a hole. It doesn’t seem to take them far so they try digging a bit on their own. They still make little progress. So they take a rest…What happens while they are asleep turns out to be most surprising of all! In simple illustrations, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole gives a host of opportunities for imagining and dreaming.

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and share books from an early age and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of the younger members of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Tracey Parker and Tom, age 4 - 'Tom and I loved reading this book...It gave us lots to talk about while we read the book together. We had fun changing the names of the characters to Tom and his friends and our trusty dog was included too!' Read full review >
  • Emma Johnson, age 4 - 'I liked reading this story because I could read it on my own.  I kept thinking that they were going to find treasure and wanted to tell them where it was.' Read full review >
  • James McNichol, age 4 - 'A slightly confusing read...Due to the small number of words on a page it is a good book for a young reader.' Read full review >
  • Cassandra Butler, age 5 - 'Sam and Dave keep digging a hole, but I thought they were a bit silly to keep changing direction and missing the diamonds.' Read full review >
  • Cassandra's Mum - 'Cassandra had no real issues reading this out loud on her own bar one or two tougher words, however I wasn't that impressed with the story, as I just didn't get the ending!' Read full review >


Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett

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. This is an all-new story from the award-winning team of Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett.

It offers a humorous look at the pleasures of outdoor play and its often surprising rewards. The interplay of text and art makes this a great read-aloud.

How did Jon and Mac come up with the idea for Sam and Dave Dig a Hole? Mac: Well we were having breakfast together in a diner in Los Angeles.

Jon: Hmmm I mean, they are based on our “ideas” of children in that they are short

Mac: I hope they will take away a copy of the story, bought and paid for with their own
hard-earned allowance.
Jon: Or whatever things of value they have managed to dig out of the ground.
Mac: Yes, the real value of this book is not in any message, but in the many gems you can obtain by digging holes in your very own yard.
Jon: “There are gems in the ground in your yard”


You've got to love a book that celebrates the simple pleasure of digging a hole... a deadpan tale brimming with humour -- Fiona Noble Bookseller Children's Guide Very much a book that all the family will chuckle at. babybuzz Magazine Witty, wonderfully illustrated. Absolutely Chiswick / Richmond / West A wonderful story with brilliant illustrations about looking for the ordinary and finding it in a very unexpected place. Haverhill Echo Wonderful. Bury Free Press A rare treasure in this witty story. The Recorder Draws on the nostalgic notions of a childhood full of curiosity, adventure and imagination. It is this that makes the story accessible and enjoyable for both young and adult readers. Association of Illustrators Glorious and funny ... will captivate and engage a child. Woman's Way Truly hilarious ... this brilliant picturebook is a witty 'treasure

-diggers everywhere! Children's Books Ireland Recommended Read This utterly charming picture book is classy, looks beautiful and - if you look carefully - is very clever indeed Daily Post North Wales, Evening Gazette Teeside, Manchester Evening Chronicle, The Chronicle Newcastle A beautiful, easy-to-read picture book ... brilliant Carousel

About the Author

Mac Barnett

Mac Barnett is the author of several picture books, including Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem, Guess Again!, and Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World. He also writes the Brixton Brothers series of mysteries. Mac is the founder of the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a convenience store for time travellers, and serves on the board of 826LA, a non-profit writing and tutoring centre.

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Book Info


40 pages
Interest Age: From 5


Mac Barnett
More books by Mac Barnett

Author's Website


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

1st October 2014




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