Child's Book of Rules Prompts Search for Owner

Most young children rebel against rules. But one child in California created a whole book of them - and then lost it.

The 157 rules cover everything from the general - "no pushing" - to the more specific, and humorous, "Don't bite the dentist."

The rules, diligently preserved in a spiral-bound notebook, were lost outside a Walmart store in Citrus Heights, Calif., near Sacramento, late last week. The Walmart employee who found the book is now on a purpose-driven search to find its owner.

"Rule 154 is, "Protect this book," the employee, Raymond Flores, told today. "That's what got me the most."


Flores, 20, was finishing his regular shift as a courtesy associate at Walmart, in charge of corralling grocery carts from the parking lot back into the store, when he spotted the notebook in the corner of an empty parking space.

He grabbed the book and thumbed through it until rule number 154 caught his eye.

"That showed me especially how much that book must have meant to them," he said. "After 153 rules they realized this [book] means a lot to me and I need to protect it."

Flores said his mission to find the book's owner became even more important when he realized the book was apparently still a work in progress.

"There's a number 158 written, but no rule on it yet," he said.

Flores, who spoke to by phone while waiting to make a live appearance on a local news program, started his search by posting about the book on his Facebook page. He then contacted a local TV station, which broadcast his story on Monday night.

Since then, Flores' story has spread far and wide, but no one has come forward yet to claim the book. His next step, he said, will be to visit local elementary schools to share the book with administrators.

"I've got to do whatever I can to put it out there," he said. "I don't know what show the family may watch or where they may be in school."

Flores used clues from the rules themselves to narrow his search, deducing that the child is in elementary school. One of the rules is "If you're going to wet your bed, wear a pull-up," suggesting that the child is on the younger side.

Flores said he is most impressed by the value the child seems to hold for the book and the wisdom within it.

"Rule number 144 says, 'Act in a mature way with self control and respect others,'" Flores said. "To have that written down by a kid, that's different."

"Another one of the rules is, 'Don't color in this rule book,'" he said. "I think it's cool that a child can see how much something as little as a little book can mean. It's very organized with no doodles and you can see they did their best to stay in the lines."

Flores is asking the owner's family, or anyone with information about the book, to call his Walmart store at 916-729-8077.