Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (Walker Books)

Joining the throng of utterly deliriously brilliant titles hitting your local bookstore today is this fantastic and hilarious story of two boys, two spades and a waggy dog. Oh and a very VERY big hole...!
Today, September 3rd, sees the release of SO MANY fantastic books that we're dubbing it "BookApocalypse 2015". When I started looking at our review schedule for the first week in September, I wondered how we were going to squeeze them all in and not only that, how we were possibly going to be able to choose one or two standout titles to make our Book of the Week winners for this week.

It was tough but we could not resist shouting about "Sam and Dave Dig a Hole" on its book birthday.

The genius team behind "Extra Yarn" are back with a tale of two boys who decide that they're going to spend the day digging a hole.

"When should we stop digging?" asks Sam.

"When we find something spectacular!" answers Dave. And thus the tale begins, with their pet dog helping out and a bountiful supply of animal biscuits and chocolate milk, the two boys start digging in earnest.

By now you're probably wondering how a book with such a simple plot could be one of the funniest books of the year, aren't you?

Well it's going to be difficult to describe why this book had Charlotte and I chortling and snorting with every turn of the page but do you remember the thrill of going to the pantomime and shouting "BEHIND YOU!" at the hero who seemingly can't see the villain standing just over their shoulder? "Sam and Dave Dig a Hole" delivers its comedy splashes in a similar way and then polishes things off with a superb twist of an end that will have you frantically flicking backwards and forwards between the opening and closing scenes of the book as you notice something rather peculiar (spectacular even!)

Mac and Jon are a match made in heaven. Mac's comic twists, Jon's simple but wonderfully expressive characters (oh god, the dog - the dog's expressions are just PRICELESS!)

It's nigh on impossible for us not to urge you to buy absolutely everything that's hitting the shelves today but if you love fantastic original books that are high on giggles and guffaws, and are definite 'keepers' then grab "Sam and Dave Dig a Hole" and discover something truly...oh go on we can say it one more time...SPECTACULAR!

Charlotte's favourite bit: When the ending 'twist' was discovered, I just loved watching her going crackers flipping between the start and end of the book - we'll leave you to discover why you need to do this :)

Daddy's favourite bit: Jon Klassen manages to imbue his characters with the most amazing expressive faces (no mean feat when you consider how deceptively 'simple' his artwork appears to be at first glance). I just can't get enough of that dog, he's awesome!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Walker Books)

"Sam and Dave Dig a Hole"

Written by Mac Barnett

Illustrated by Jon Klassen

Published by Walker Books

Release Date: 3rd September 2015