I like to think that it’s normal for a librarian to obsess over a book the way that I have with this one, but I’m probably kidding myself. I do promise you, though, unless there is some major new development, this will be my last Sam and Dave post.
If you know me,I’ve probably asked you to read this book, and I’ve probably asked you about your opinion as to what really happened to Sam and Dave. I’ve heard a lot of theories this last year; They dug a hole through the center of the earth (very unlikely), they fell asleep and the end of the book is a dream (a little more probable), they’re dead at the end and walking into the afterlife, they’re in a parallel dimension . At first, I really liked the dream theory. I thought it was the most likely answer for quite a while. Then, I met Mac and asked him about it. He wouldn’t give me an answer, but he was pretty dismissive of the dream theory because the dog never actually goes to sleep, and he’s there with them the whole time. He did tell me that there was a definite answer, and that there are clues leading to that answer, and he also told me that only he and Jon Klassen know the answer. Not even their editor knows.
I believed him. I’m a pretty trusting person. If I don’t have a reason to think someone is lying to me, I tend to believe that what they’re saying it true, especially if that person is as cool as Mac Barnett. After that I adopted the parallel dimension theory as the most like likely one to be true.
Then, I kind of put Sam and Dave on the shelf for a little while.There were other, new books to read and discuss. Time passed, and I didn’t think about it for a few months. Then, two days ago, two teachers were in the library, and for some reason, we ended up talking about Sam and Dave Dig a Hole. I don’t remember if we were talking about last year’s author visit or if they asked me for some really good picture books, or what, but Sam and Dave came up, and I realized that neither of the teachers had read it before. Of course, I made them and asked for their opinions. They gave some of the usual theories, but that conversation got me thinking again.
I thought about Mac’s TED talk, and how me admits that he’s a liar. He lies for a living. I thought about the overall theme of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole. Is was never really about the treasure, was it? It was about the adventure, the “looking for something spectacular.” It was really all about the journey and not the destination. Then it hit me. There is no answer. Mac lied to me. To my face. Without even blinking. Just like the real life treasure hunt that was part of The Clock Without a Face. Just like the free whale offer, and whale recording (watch the TED Video) was part of Billy Twitters, the lie is part of the story. Mac is sending us all on a wild goose chase trying to find answers that aren’t there. And it’s ok because it really isn’t about the answer is it? It’s about the searching. I’ve read this book 300 more times than I would have if I hadn’t have been obsessed with looking for the answer. It’s why I took the book with me to visit family last year on spring break and make them all read it. It’s why I’m still talking and blogging about a book that came out in October of 2014. It’s all about the journey. Mac Barnett is a very clever, brilliant man, but I think I may have finally caught on to his game. There is no solution. They’re messing with our heads. Unless I’m wrong. What if there really is an answer? I need to go read it again.