(continuing from this conversation...)
Dad: Is it clear what happens in the second half of the book?
Elijah (age 9): Yeah. Sam and Dave fall through the bottom of the world.
Dad: Well, there is some hot debate about that…
Elijah: There is?
Dad: If they fall through the world, why do they come out of the sky at the end?
Elijah: Ohhhhh…… so that can’t be right… if they fall down…
Dad: So that’s the big question people have been discussing. What happens? I’ve read plenty of theories about this book. Some people do think they dug a hole through the earth and came out the other side.
Elijah: But that’s not possible. They fall DOWN out of the sky. It’s gravity.
Dad: Here’s another theory… Some people think they die in the middle of the book and then go to heaven.
Dad: You don’t buy that theory?
Elijah: No. Because there is a cat at the end, and animals don’t have souls.
Dad: No cats in heaven? I agree. Some people think that the ending is all just a dream.
Elijah: No, because the dog has the bone he was trying to get.
Dad: What about them going into another dimension.
Dad: So what do you think?
Elijah: Maybe there is a secret town in the middle of the earth.
Dad: Ohhh… so you think at the end of the book, they are still underground? I haven’t heard that theory yet. Interesting. So they are in the center of the earth, and there’s another world inside this world.
Elijah: Yeah. A secret town.
Dad: Awwwww. That’s a neat theory. Honestly, I think your theory makes the most sense of any I’ve heard. A hidden town in the middle of the earth. It’s so simple. And I guess the art has already established white backgrounds for everything inside a hole, so that works…
Elijah: Maybe it's bright because they have lanterns and flashlights hanging from the top of the cavern. Maybe people found a mini sun. They shot bows and arrows at the sun, and a piece of the sun came off, and they put it inside the earth.
Dad: Well, now your theory is getting a little crazier.
Elijah: Ha ha hah heh…
Dad: You want to know my theory? I like the dream theory.
Dad: Yeah, but I don’t think they are dreaming at the end. I think the first half is the dream. I think the Apple Land is the dream land and the Pear Land is real.
Elijah: But how would Sam and Dave have the same dream? It wouldn’t have been exactly the same dream.
Dad: Or maybe… maybe… Sam is the only real kid. And Dave is his imaginary friend.
Elijah: No. I think my theory is right.
Dad: Hang on… I think Sam is real. All the blue things are real. And everything red is part of the imaginary/dream world: Dave and his hat, his cat’s collar, the apple tree. See – even the diamonds are pink... a shade of red. Sam fell asleep and visited his friend Dave in the red Dream World -- like Little Nemo in Slumberland.
Elijah: How come the dog knows where the diamonds are but the kids don’t?
Dad: Because he’s got a red collar. He’s part of the dream world like the diamonds. You know how in a dream you can kind of see outside yourself? The dog is part of the dream, so he knows the diamonds are there. AND... maybe Dave knows the diamonds are there too! He’s the one that leads them away from the diamonds every time they are about to hit one. He wants to find something spectacular, and he knows the diamonds are just dream-diamonds. They’re just getting in the way of their mission.
Dad: Then they wake up, and Dave is going to follow Sam into Sam's house in the Real World – the blue world - for milk and cookies. That’s my theory.
Elijah: But if Sam woke up, how are they still together?
Dad: Right! That’s why it’s spectacular! The “Spectacular Thing” they find is that if they dig deep enough, Dave can exit the Dream World and follow Sam home! That's why Dave purposely led them around the diamonds. Finding his way out into the Real World was more spectacular.
Dad: “Dave” even starts with D like “Dream!”
Elijah: Ha ha…
Dad: We even talk about being “deep asleep.” And the kids are digging deeper and deeper. Yep. Sam visited his friend Dave in the Dream World and Dave made a spectacular escape.
Elijah: I don’t think your theory is right.
Dad: I think it is.
Elijah: I think my theory is right.
Dad: The kids don’t even have mouths.
Elijah: I noticed that.
Dad: How would they talk to each other? It’s got to be a dream. They are talking to each other in their minds without mouths.
Elijah: Maybe the artist just draws them that way.
Dad: Does this book make you want to go dig a big hole now?
Elijah: If there is a secret town in the middle of the earth, yes.