SPRINGVILLE — A child's book of rules, left in a Walmart parking lot and found by an employee, has taken a young girl from a Sacramento suburb to the set of the Today show.
Isabelle Busath was in New York on Friday after a whirlwind week during which her treasured book of rules, only to have it returned by a man intent on putting the book back in the hands of its owners.
Raymond Flores, 20, was corralling grocery carts late last week at a Walmart in Citrus Heights when something caught his eye: a notebook in the corner of an empty parking space.
He flipped through the book, finding a list of rules written by a child. Number 154 stood out. "Protect this book," it said.
"That showed me especially how much that book must have meant to them," he told ABC News. "After 153 rules they realized this (book) means a lot to me and I need to protect it."
Flores embarked on a mission to find the owners of the book, talking to local media to help spread the story. His story eventually reached Michelle Busath, who didn't realize the book was her daughter's own missing rulebook until she saw mention of a familiar rule: "Don't bite the dentist."
Busath emailed the news station that had done the story, which helped facilitate a meeting between Busath and Flores.
"She was so embarrassed that someone had picked it up," Springville resident Nancy Trahan, Isabelle's grandmother, told ksl.com. "She was embarrassed people were going to see her rules. But I think she was excited about being on (Sacramento affiliate) FOX40, and she's excited about being in New York. It's her first plane ride."
Trahan said Isabelle can always be found writing, and always asks for a journal for her birthday. Her husband, Eric Trahan, said he hopes the attention the book is getting — the family has been contacted by Simon & Schuster — won't wear on the girl.
"I'm happy for her. I hope it inspires her to keep up her writing," he said. "I think it comes to her naturally."
Nancy Trahan said while she is surprised at the attention the book is getting, she isn't surprised at Isabelle's creation of the book.
"She is very compassionate," she said. "She wants everyone around her to feel good. She has rules for living; we've always known that about her."