Book Review: Sam & Dave Dig a Hole (2014)

Review: ★★★★ (4/5)

To “find something spectacular,” Sam and Dave decide to dig a hole in their backyard. They dig and dig, changing directions and tactics over time, but always at just the wrong moment. Should they choose to continue, they could uncover increasingly large treasures. Klassen’s signature paired-down imagery compliments Barnett’s text, creating new meaning through collaboration, and invites the reader(s) in.

In the end, the boys find that their day together was something spectacular all on its own. This subversion of expectations nourishes social imagination and inquiry as children are encouraged to question what in their own life and play could be seen as “spectacular.” Thus Klassen and Barnett have crafted a captivating and re-readable piece of art with this simple, fun, and powerful story.



Amanda Fisher-Katz-Keohane