Tag Archives: Jon Klassen
Post by Mark T. Locker
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Jon Klassen.
My son, at six point three years old, is almost too old for picture books now. While it’s a shame that we won’t have this format to enjoy together forever, it certainly won’t stop me from seeking out new and wonderful picture-heavy reading material for my own enjoyment and for the enrichment of you, the readers. Especially now that Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett have found each other, why would anyone move away from picture books? There can be nothing but great things coming from these two for a long time to come. And any time Adam Rex wants to fill in for Jon Klassen, that’s okay too.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole is a charming and painful story. Two boys decide to dig down in the yard to see what kinds of treasures they can find. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that the cross-sections of the deep, winding hole they dig show us just how close they come to finding some remarkable treasures. The drawings are wonderful and make the story what it it. Mac Barnett’s touch for subtle humor definitely helps drive this story too. Truly a great collaborative work between some of children’s literature’s great new voices.
Post by Mark T. Locker
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.
Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen are two of my favorite children’s book creators out there. I’ve reviewed books by each of them more than once. Mac Barnett’s Guess Who? Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem and Chloe and the Lion are all wonderful, hilarious books. Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back was, in my mind, an instant classic.
This collaborative book with Mac Barnett providing the story (Chloe and the Lion showed us definitively that this man cannot draw) and Jon Klassen doing the illustrations is a bit of a departure from their usual style. Nevertheless, it’s still a wonderful book. My son is crazy about it. It reads like a story out of a book of fairy tales, maybe Russian fairy tales.
Annabelle lives in a cold, drab town. When she discovers a box of brightly-colored yarn, she decides to knit herself a sweater. With the extra yarn, she knits one for her dog. With the extra yarn, she knits one for her neighbor and so on. It soon becomes clear that she will never run out of yarn so after outfitting the whole village and their animals, she knits house cozies and all manner of other knitted delights. However, a greedy archduke has heard about this magical box of yarn and wants it for himself. What will he do to get it from this girl?
A simple, silly, and beautifully illustrated story from two of the greatest of the new generation of children’s book creators.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen.
If you are a connoisseur of fine children’s picture books, perhaps you have heard of I Want My Hat Back. Or, if you are regular reader of this blog, maybe you saw my review almost a year ago TO THIS VERY DAY of that lovely, subtle, hilarious book. (If not, don’t worry. I hyperlinked it for you.) Jon Klassen’s new book takes a new twist on what worked so well the first time. This is indeed another story about hat theft in the animal world, only this time we see the crime from the perpetrator’s perspective.
“This is not my hat,” the little fish begins, “I just stole it. I stole it from a big fish. He was asleep when I did it.”
So carries on the little fish while we the readers see that the big fish indeed woke up sooner than the perp anticipated, and indeed the giant victim is hot on the fins of this diminutive ne’er-do-well. And although the little fish makes a good point about the hat being far too small for the big fish, it is not for him to decide! That being said, I think the little bowler looks quite dashing on the little guy, but I cannot approve of his methods of acquisition.
I can, however, approve of this book. Few can take a successful theme and make a second book out of it without it coming off as horribly derivative but Jon Klassen pulls it off brilliantly. Just go read it.