CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 18. . . . May 9, 2003
followed Abigail and Jacob as they wound their way down the hill and
west past North dock. At first, the boulder where the heron had paused
seemed unaffected by its recent guest. But then, as they moved closer,
another shock of colour came into view along the waterline.
"It's got to be around here," said Jacob, scrambling up the boulder.
"The flowers, I'll bet they're a clue," said Abigail. She kneeled down to take off her sandals in order to go in the water then remembered she was never to go near in the water without an adult. "Ernest, watch for Mommy and Daddy," she ordered and poked her way along the rocks, wading in to the water.
Ernest sat down on a tree stump, angry because Abigail was telling him what to do again and feeling sorry for himself because he had to be the lookout instead of an adventurer. He was almost too tired to stay awake because the day had been so long and way too eventful, and he was almost starving because it was sinner. Mostly though, he was worried about charlotte. Who was she and how in the world was he going to help her?
owning a small statue that would speak subconsciously to you about
the presence of unhappiness around you. That is precisely what five
and a half year old Ernest has in Margie Rutledge's The Busybody
Buddha. Ernest, his older siblings (Abigail, almost 11, and Jacob
aged 8) and his parents are on vacation on a little island in the
Muskokas. The small statue, a blue stone buddha with a mischievous
face and magical properties known as "the busybody buddha,"
has also made the trip. Ernest's siblings were not impressed with
the buddha's coming on the family vacation as it had previously led
the children into a difficult and dangerous adventure in Rutledge'
first book, The Great Laundry Adventure. Initially, Ernest
buries the buddha as its busybody nature roots out unhappiness nearby,
a feeling which Ernest does not wish to deal with while on holiday.
The buddha, however, continues to transmit the unhappy and powerful
message to Ernest, and he feels compelled to investigate. His siblings
join him in the search for the message's source after a mysterious
model boat arrives at their wharf. Along with their parents, the children
return the boat to a deserted cove on a tiny mist shrouded island
only to discover another model boat has arrived at their own wharf.
When this one is returned, the children discover a mysterious cave
which leads them to the past and a phantom girl who is the source
of the buddha's messages. Finally the children are able to resolve
the girl's difficulty and return to their own time and island to enjoy
a fun-filled holiday.
Gillian Martin Noonan is a teacher living in Old Perlican, Newfoundland.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.