|Publisher:||San Val, Incorporated|
|Edition description:||11200 San Val|
|Product dimensions:||5.32(w) x 7.66(h) x 0.47(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 11 Years|
Read an Excerpt
"Hello! Anyone home?" Belinda Dentalette, a tiny fairy three inchworms high, peered through a knothole window of the Skye family tree-house. It was a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon, and Belinda hoped Olivia could come out to play. Maybe they could find some rainbows to slide down or a bunch of clouds for sky-high hopscotch.
"Hi!" Olivia Skye poked her head out of a nearby knothole. Belinda jumped.
"I'm sorry," Olivia said softly. "Did I scare you?"
"Of course not," Belinda scoffed. The very idea of shy, quiet Olivia scaring anyone was silly. But Belinda--the fastest-flying, most daring fairy in the first-grade class of Fairy School--wasn't afraid of anything. She'd slid down the giant waterfall slide when she was one inchworm tall. She'd ridden a shooting star when she was two inchworms tall. And now that she was three, Belinda liked to think nothing could scare her.
"What are you doing?" she asked Olivia, bouncing on her tree branch.
Olivia sighed. "Mom and Dad took the twins to the Big Dipper for some ice cream. I'm home alone, working on a project for my art class."
She waved her wing for Belinda to fly inside. Then she showed her a workspace covered with paints and brushes and crumpled bits of paper.
Olivia was in the same grade as Belinda. But she was in a special class for the most talented artists in school.
"We're painting winter sunsets. They have the most brilliant colors. I've been trying to get my reds and yellows to be so dazzling and wondrous that everyone will be amazed."
Belinda smoothed out a piece of paper. "Wow! These colors are great!"
Olivia shrugged. "They're okay. But nothing special. I reallywant something better. Mr. Meadowleaf said we should make the colors extraordinary for winter."
Mr. Meadowleaf taught Olivia's special art class. He was such an important artist that Olivia was in awe of him. She wanted everything she did for his class to be perfect.
Belinda poured some nectar into a shell-cup, then looked at the paintings again. "Well, I think they're terrific. Besides, why worry about winter sunsets? It seems as if winter's never coming. I've been waiting for some nice cold weather for weeks now. I want to go snow sliding! And ice flying! And snowdrift hopping!"
"And I can't wait to design snowflakes!" Olivia added.
"But it's been so warm! Just the other day I saw Ms. Robin and her family sunbathing. Imagine, birds aren't flying south yet!" Belinda complained.
"They'd better start soon," Olivia said. "I saw a weather fairy this morning and she said winter is coming tonight!"
"Wivvy! Wivvy!" Just then Nicholas and Natalia, the toddler twins, burst into the room.
"Oh, hi!" Natalia said, seeing Belinda. Then she turned quickly back to Olivia. "Mr. and Mrs. Squiwwel!" she squealed.
"Yes?" said Olivia patiently. "The Squirrels live in the next tree over," she explained to Belinda. "What about them?"
"Nuts!" Nicholas shouted. "Gathewing nuts!"
"The Squirrels are gathering nuts!" Belinda exclaimed. "Hooray!" She did a fairy flip straight to the ceiling. "Your weather fairy was telling the truth!"
Early the next morning, Belinda scooted under the branches of Mr. Willow, the weeping willow tree, to meet her friends so they could fly to school together. All of Fairyland had changed overnight. A white blanket of snow covered the green grass.
"It's cold!" Belinda declared. "I can see my breath!" She blew out a loud "Ha." A puff of mist hovered in the air, then disappeared.
Olivia was sitting close to the tree trunk, hugging herself for warmth. She laughed softly as she watched Belinda's breath vanish. "Now you see it, now you don't. It's almost like fairy magic."
"Boo-hoo!" wept Mr. Willow. "At least you fairies can fly to stay warm. I'm stuck in this cold, hard ground. And my tears are freezing up!"
Olivia put her arms around the tree and patted him. "This weather just takes a little getting used to. In no time at all, you won't even notice it."
"Not notice it's winter?" Belinda said excitedly. She hopped up and down. "I could never do that! I like it too much!"
Just then, Dorrie Windmist and Trina Larkspur fluttered under the tree.
"Hey, Dorrie! Hey, Trina!" Belinda called. "Winter is finally here! There's snow everywhere!"
Olivia sighed. "And it's all so beautiful. The way the snow falls on branches. The way it drifts into pretty shapes. The snowflake fairies did a wonderful job."
She paused for a moment, thinking. "The first snowfall always makes me want to be a snowflake fairy when I grow taller."
Trina nodded seriously. "I know what you mean. The first snowfall is always special. And according to my calculations, today is special for another reason too. The sun should set at exactly four-twenty-nine, making it the shortest day of the year."
Dorrie shivered. "And the coldest. I hope my wings don't freeze!"
Belinda laughed as she fluttered in small circles. "You have to keep moving, Dorrie, to stay warm."
Suddenly she stopped. "Hey, I have an idea! Let's all go snow sliding after school."
Snow sliding was one of Belinda's favorite things to do--gliding down snowy hills, trying to stay on two feet, flapping her wings for balance. She loved it almost as much as Olivia loved creating snowflakes.
"Snow sliding? Good thinking!" said Trina. "Where should we go?"
"How about Magic Mountain?" Belinda suggested. "It has the slipperiest slopes in Fairyland."
"No way!" Dorrie said. She shook her head so hard, her messy curls whipped across her face. "Ouch!" Carefully she tucked her hair behind her ears. "I'm so clumsy, I'd break my wing on the first run and have to miss the fun. How about going to Fairyland Meadow? We can slide across the Babbling Brook, now that he's frozen."
The fairies kept talking as they flew to the first-grade branch of Fairy School.
"Or how about that hill by Pixie Pond?" Olivia continued, fluttering to her toadstool-desk. "It's so pretty there! Or--"
"Oh, hello, Mr. Meadowleaf," Olivia said shyly. She nodded to the grown-up fairy, who was hovering by the branch.
Laurel, another little fairy, piped up: "Good morning, Mr. Meadowleaf." She was in Mr. Meadowleaf's class too and always wanted to impress him.
She pushed Olivia aside to get closer to the teacher. Then she gave him a false, bright smile. "It's so awfully nice of you to drop by our little first-grade branch!"
Mr. Meadowleaf peered around her to speak to Olivia.
"I hear your class is going to have a terrific winter art project. I'm expecting something wonderful from you, Olivia."
B-r-r-i-i-ng! The school chime rang. Mr. Meadowleaf waved and fluttered away.
"And me too?" Laurel shouted after him. "Are you expecting me to be wonderful?"
Laurel raised her wings to fly off after the art teacher. But the first-grade teacher flew onto the branch.
"Class is just beginning. Not ending," Ms. Periwinkle said to Laurel.
Ms. Periwinkle led the class in the Fairy School Pledge. Then she grinned at the first-grade fairies. "Brrr! I just love this winter chill! It makes me feel so wide-awake."
"Me too!" Belinda opened her eyes wide and giggled.
"In honor of the first frost," Ms. Periwinkle continued, "we have a special visitor this morning."
A fairy named Sebastian raised his wing. "Who is it, Ms. Periwinkle?"
"Well, class, I'll give you some clues. He lives where it's always cold. By a part of the Babbling Brook that doesn't talk all year long because he's frozen solid. Under the tallest evergreen tree, covered in snow from top to bottom. Right in the heart of the Icicle Forest."
"It must be Jack Frost!" Trina exclaimed.