Book Review: Sam and Dave Dig A Hole

By Mac Barnett; Illustrated by Jon Klassen

By Amanda Elshahawi, Creator, Enchanted Literacy April 26, 2022

Recommended Ages: 3 - 8 year olds

In this simple yet imaginative story, we follow two boys, Sam and Dave who dig a hole looking for something spectacular. They dig deep, they dig wide, they dig separately and together. As they dig the boys are unaware they are inches away from something spectacular, though their dog seems to notice. This is the type of story where you get just as much detail and depth from the words as you do the illustrations. Each page, though simple brings details worth noting. It encourages the reader to take a second look, and once the book is done, read it one more time as you’re left with a question, what just happened! Hint, look at the title page and compare it to the end of the story. Children can enjoy coming up with their own ideas of what they think happened and laughing at each missed spectacular moment where Sam and Dave are close to a discovery.

We recommend pairing this book with some science activities about earth and minerals. You can also make your own game of hide-and-seek. Take turns hiding an object and blindfold the other player. Guide the blindfolded player by using words like, “Take two steps right, reach high” etc. until they find the hidden object. There are lots of other resources to pair with this book like Reading is Fundamental and Walker Books Classroom Ideas.

Amanda is a preschool teacher, mother and avid Central Park picnicker. She values community and is an advocate for families in the foster care system. One day she hopes to publish a children's book of her own. In the meantime, you can follow her Instagram, Enchanted Literacy, which encourages imagination and passion for reading.