The Busybody BuddhaBook - 2002
In the sequel to The Great Laundry Adventure, the three Lawrence children, Abigail, Jacob and Ernest (from oldest to youngest) are again embarked on a mysterious adventure, but this time, the adventure is initiated, it appears, by a small blue stone buddha which Ernest has discovered in a mysterious shop. The little buddha has a way of showing Ernest the unhappiness of others, and his brother and sister have expressly forbidden him to bring the buddha along on their summer holiday. With their parents, they arrive by motorboat on the wonderfully primitive island where they always spend their holidays, ready for a carefree summer. At first they are delighted to rediscover their favorite haunts and activities, but soon five-year-old Ernest is oppressed by a sense of foreboding. He is afraid to tell Abigail and Jacob that he has brought the buddha to the island, but they soon discover its presence and take measures to try to prevent the buddhas powerful and unhappy messages from spoiling their holiday. Then the children discover a battered replica of the tourist boat, the Segwun, which has plied these shores for decades, and which then leads them to a small mist shrouded island, called Serene Island. They also discover a mysterious cave with ancient drawings and a tunnel through which pours the sound of sobbing. They follow the tunnel and it leads them back to the same small island. This time they find someone who is indeed unhappy and needs their help. And so their adventure with Charlotte, a young girl from another time, begins. A junior novel with a classic feel, illustrated with black and white illustrations, which will delight children eight and up. Rutledge has mined the mysterious elements of an untamed island to produce a story which is both whimsical and enchanting.