A Hole Is to Dig by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak

There are some books that are purportedly written for children — and may in fact look and sound the part, in terms of the ‘kid-friendly’ cover or simple language used — but in fact, they hold little or no appeal for them. It’s simple: we all seek to form connections with the books we read, and children are no exception; so if they can’t relate to a book’s content or are bored by it, they may sit through it once — if you’re lucky — but don’t expect them to ever want to read it again. If they’re written well enough, or cleverly enough, however, such books may find a more appreciative adult audience.

First published in 1952, A Hole Is to Dig is — not surprisingly, since it’s still in print after more than 60 years! — not one of those books described above. In fact, this little gem of a book — which measures just 18cm by 14cm — is the very definition (pun intended) of a true children’s book that speaks to — and for — them, written and illustrated by two people who really understand the mind of a child.

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The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson

The Carrot Seed is a classic book (first published in 1945!) about a boy who tries to grow a carrot by planting a seed.

Even though everyone around him tells him repeatedly that he would fail, the boy pays them no heed and continues to weed and water his little plot of land.


Eventually, of course, his patience, perseverance and hard work are rewarded.

Thanks to the book’s very clean, simple text and artwork, even very young toddlers will be able to enjoy this timeless tale.