If you follow my blog you’ll know I’m a huge fan of both Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen. Both are incredible talents who have made outstanding contributions to the picture book form.
Jon Klassen has written & illustrated bestselling and award-winning picture books such as the brilliant I Want My hat Back & the 2013 Caldecott medal winning This Is Not My Hat.
Mac Barnett, a writer not an illustrator is the author of brilliant picture books, such as; Chloe & the Lion, President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath, Battle Bunny, Count the Monkeys, Billy Twitters & the Blue Whale Problem & many more.
Together they made the wonderful picture book Extra Yarn, which won a Boston Globe-Horn Book award and a Caldecott Honor.
I saw the cover art for their latest picture book Sam & Dave Dig a Hole some time ago on twitter and I have been eagerly awaiting it ever since.
Mac & Jon are clearly good friends, who create magic when they put their heads together. They complement each other like Milk & Cookies.
Here’s what they had to say about their working relationship taken from a transcript to Walker Books.
This is the second picture book you’ve collaborated on. What do you enjoy about working together? Why do you think you make a good team?
Mac: I’ll let you go first and say something nice about me.
Mac: And if you decide not to say something nice about me, will be able to deal with that in my response.
Jon: No no, I will do it.
Mac: I think you mean “Okay!”
Jon: On my end, you seem to enjoy premises for these books that are as much visually driven as they are text driven, and so the story ends up happening in both areas. I think even though we are both left to do the things we like to do on a book we make together, the ideas we come up with in conversation at the beginning are never either purely visual or verbal.
Mac: Yeah, even though I can’t draw I think that writing a picture book is a visual act, and one of my main jobs is to provide a space for illustrators to do their own storytelling.
Jon: You for sure can’t draw.
Mac: Aw man, and I was just typing something nice about you: There’s nobody I like talking about books with more than Jon, and working together gives us a chance to talk about books and try out ideas that feel exciting to us both. I guess that we talk about books a lot anyway though. This is a way to do it that feels more immediately productive. We also talk a lot about TV shows. And lunch.
Jon: I just had soup.
Mac: I just had two handfuls of cereal.
Their new book Sam & Dave Dig A Hole is full of visual humour. The two boys are determined to find something spectacular. They embark on their plan to dig a hole, a hole they plan to keep digging until they find that something spectacular, which they eventually find, in a much unexpected way.