The year has moved on to the month of November. And November happens to be Picture Book Month! An event created by Ms Dianne de Las Casas to celebrate the genius of the Picture Book. I think that really EVERY month is Picture Book Month, but November has been set aside to show especial appreciation for this type of reading material. There is a website attached to this most sacred of months – you can visit it HERE – and find out more about why Picture Books are sooooooo important!!
To start off my celebration of the Picture Book, I present a very special book written and illustrated by two incredibly special young men!
There has been lots and lots of talk about this book – even before it came out. It MUST be a Perfect Picture Book! It has generated sooooo much attention and soooo much conversation! And it is a PERFECT blend of text, illustration, and design! All very simple, but oh so PERFECT!
It begins –
On Monday Sam and Dave dug a hole.
The story is about two boys who decide to dig a hole. A universal subject! Everyone likes to dig holes!! I, myself, have been known to dig a hole or two.
I never found anything too spectacular – just some pretty yummy roots. But Sam and Dave are on a quest to find “something spectacular.” They won’t stop until they do! And OH! they come ever so close!! But not quite! My readers were right along for the dig! Moaning and groaning with each page turn. With each shovelful of dirt. Sam and Dave have a helper – a little dog – who seems to be much smarter than the boys. The dog tries very hard to indicate where they need to dig. But Sam and Dave do not pay him any attention.
Those silly boys! They dig for a very long time – deeper and deeper. Until they are too tired to dig any more and they fall asleep. The little dog keeps digging though – going after something spectacular and ends up with a real hole that tumbles them all through time and space until they land – right back where they started on the soft dirt next to the little tree. But is it really where they started? That’s the big question.
Oh! the discussion!!! In the classroom with my readers – “What just happened?!” “Why is everything different?” Where’s the hole?” “Are they on the other side of the world?”
Mr Barnett was in Texas recently at our Texas Book Festival in Austin. He read this book and talked about it. He even had the crowd sing Happy Birthday to the book!!! He noted all the differences at the end of the book – the tree, the weathervane, the flower, the cat. He asked the questions. But he gave no answers. Just leaves you hanging! With MUCH to ponder.
Mr. Shu at Watch, Connect, Read had Mr Barnett and Mr Klassen come visit his school library! Can you imagine that?! What a fantastic day that would be! You can see all the fun they had and watch a book trailer at his website HERE.
The Horn Book has a great interview by Mac Barnett with Jon Klassen.
And here’s a great TED talk –