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

Who doesn’t dream of finding buried treasure? Sam and Dave certainly do, as they and their canine companion attempt to dig their way to “something spectacular”.

20141105-164211.jpg As with Klassen’s earlier masterpiece, I Want My Hat Back, the plot outline of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole is similarly spelled out plainly in the title, but the actual nuances of the reading experience are anything but shallow as the reader falls irresistibly down the rabbit hole, as it were, and into the twists and turns of the boys’ quirkily outrageous exploits.

20141105-164238.jpg Barnett’s deadpan text combines seamlessly with Klassen’s spare and earth-toned illustrations to fabulously ironic comic effect as, time and again, the hapless boys come agonisingly close to, but don’t quite hit, the jackpot. Aptly enough, it’s the least clueless member of the trio — the shifty-eyed dog — who finally lands a treasure and, in the process, leads them all to something arguably more spectacular (in the grand scheme of things, at least) than a humongous diamond: the adventure of a lifetime.


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