Yesterday in my first grade class, I read Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Illustrated by Jon Klassen. I carefully orchestrated a snack of animal crackers and chocolate milk to be shared while we read.
Out of my 19 children present, only three had ever heard the story before. So they were all pleasantly surprised when Sam and Dave stop to rest and eat animal crackers and drink chocolate milk. One little girl’s eyes got big and she exclaimed, “They are eating animal crackers and drinking milk just like us!”
I read the story page by page and would show them the picture after I read the page. They would exclaim and point out how close they were and things they should have done. They started to predict or at least try to tell the characters what to do, of which they inevitably did just the opposite.
I held my laughter as kids would call out, “Sam dig down!” “Dave dig over there” (picture in your head hands jesturing frantically) and then the choral “Noooo!”
In the end some of the kids figured out the change from the different trees, but the consensus was that Sam and Dave dug their way to the future.
One girl did come up with the conclusion that they dug through the earth to China, but she quickly dismissed that idea since the house did not look Chinese.
It was great fun to read this story. I love the way that Mac and Jon included a third character who drove the story and was never mentioned once. It shows great collaboration between the author and illustrator.
If you haven’t read this book, let alone to a group of children, you are missing out!