Friday, November 14, 2014

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett – ADVISABLE

Barnett, Mac and Illustrated by Klassen, Jon Sam and Dave Dig a Hole PICTURE BOOK. Candlewick 2014. $17 Content: G
Sam and Dave and their dog decide to dig in the ground until they find something “Spectacular”. They are persistent, despite never coming across anything great –though the reader can see plenty of gems they are just barely missing. Their dog, however, finds something he likes and it leads to a surprise ending.
I know that this author and illustrator are quite popular, so its tough to say that I didn’t care for this book. I thought the colors were incredibly dull and boring, and the plot could have been more creative. For example, the diggers keep missing gemstones (boring looking ones that all looked similar), but why not missing a sleeping dragon, or a monster bat cave, anything! Both myself and students I showed this book to were confused about the ending. It was a surprise, but not a “spectacular” one. Because of the author/illustrator, no doubt this book will win some kind of award, so keep it on your radar.
NOTE: I have had a complete turnaround on this book, thanks to a public librarian reading it to my students. I had missed some of the finer details and her mischievous reading lent new insights into the story. What I, a librarian, also completely missed is that this is a picture book that relies on both the words and the pictures to create the sly humor of this story, a great lesson for students about the importance of both. As I shake my head at my ignorance, I will admit that this book is awesome!
EL (K-3) – ADVISABLE Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

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