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

3+ readers   All Shortlists and Winners   Carnegie Greenaway   5+ readers   Picture Book Party   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2016.

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. ~ Julia Eccleshare

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

From the award-winning team behind Extra Yarn, and illustrated by Jon Klassen, the Kate Greenaway-winning creator of This Is Not My Hat and and I Want My Hat Back, comes a perfectly paced, deadpan tale full of visual humour.

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”


Now in paperback, a deadpan tale of celebrating the joys of outdoor play, with illustrations from 2014 Greenaway winner Klassen. The Bookseller A perfectly paced, deadpan tale full of visual humour from an award-winning team. The Bookseller Children's Buyer's Guide The witty and extraordinary story is so simple yet perfect. It's got all the words it needs and the text works beautifully with the mellow coloured, gorgeous illustrations (with important details!). The typography and layout of the book are well executed too and match the story perfectly. The books is a pleasure on the eyes for adults and children and it's a lovely story for parents to read with their children. A Mum Reviews In simple illustrations, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole gives a host of opportunities for imagining and dreaming. -- Julia Ecceshare Love Reading 4 Kids

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

3rd September 2015




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