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Four tiny horses with shiny manes and shimmery wings burst from a dandelion seed. Four magical horses who can fly! Dancing on the wind, surrounded by magical haloes, they are the Wind Dancers. Delighted with themselves and with their newly discovered magic, the four new friends—Kona, Brisa, Sumatra, and Sirocco—set out to discover all that their magic has to offer.
Readers can really let their imaginations fly with this magical new series based on Breyer's beautifully-colored model horses, The Wind Dancers, four tiny horses with childlike personalities girls will readily identify with.
Sure to begin an enduring love of horses.
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About the Author
Sibley Miller, author of the Wind Dancers series, is the pseudonym for an author of novels for teens.
Illustrated by Tara Larsen Chang and Jo Gershman. Tara Larsen Chang is the illustrator of The Fairy Chronicles. Jo Gershman is the illustrator of The Nutcracker Ballet and The Night Before Christmas.
Tara Larsen Chang is the illustrator of The Fairy Chronicles and The Wind Dancers.
Jo Gershman is the illustrator of The Nutcracker Ballet and The Night Before Christmas, as well as the Wind Dancers books.
Read an Excerpt
Wind Dancers: If Wishes Were Horses
A Kona Story
By Sibley Miller, Tara Larsen Chang, Jo Gershman
Feiwel and FriendsCopyright © 2008 Reeves International, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Dancing on the Wind
The first thing the tiny winged horse heard was a whooshing of wind in her ears.
The first thing she felt was a breeze ruffling her long purple mane.
The first thing she smelled? The grass and sun-kissed flowers.
But the best part of the filly's very first moments were the things she saw. Because what she saw were colors. Her colors.
The violet-black and white of her front legs, pumping through the air.
The shimmery purple of her wings. The bright tiny flowers that danced around her.
The little horse tossed her head and whinnied in excitement. But when the whinny came out, it was a word — "Kona!"
"Kona?" the little filly heard someone ask. "What's a Kona?"
The voice came from behind her. With a flicker of her wings, the horse turned in the air. And that's when she saw the most wonderful thing of all — one, no two, no three other tiny flying horses just like herself!
Each had colorful wings and long, shiny manes and tails, just like she did.
But they were different, too. One of the two fillies was silvery blue, with sea-green wings. The other one was the prettiest sunset pink, with a necklace of glimmering jewels.
The last of the winged horses, surprisingly, was a colt! He was long legged and fiery gold. Everywhere he flew, a halo of colorful little butterflies bobbled around him.
"Well?" the colt demanded. "Like I asked before — what's a Kona?"
The violet-black horse cocked her head to think. Finally, she announced, "I think a Kona is ... me! Kona must be my name!"
"Really?" asked the silver-blue filly. "How do you know?"
"I ... I just do!" Kona said with a smile.
"Then can you tell me my name?" the pretty pink horse asked. "I don't know it."
"I bet you do know your name," Kona assured her. "You just don't know that you know it!"
"Huh?" said the silver-blue filly. "So does that mean I know my name, too?"
"Just close your eyes," Kona told her new friends. She didn't know if this was going to work. But since she'd been the first one to figure out her name, she pressed on.
"Now, feel the wind breezing through your mane," Kona ordered.
"Hee!" The pink horse giggled. "That tickles!"
"Now, smell the sun on the grass," Kona went on.
The golden horse's nostrils flared as he inhaled deeply. In fact, he breathed in so much air, he sucked in a gnat! He coughed, and finally sneezed the gnat out.
Kona tried not to laugh as she gave the other horses her next instruction: "Now, say the first word that comes to you."
The sleek silver-blue horse's eyes popped open. "Sumatra!" she cried out joyously. "Sumatra! That's my name! I just know it!"
"That's an elegant name!" said the pink horse. "Want to know mine?"
"Of course," Sumatra said. "It's Brisa," the coral-pink filly answered, as she ducked her head shyly. "I think it's a very pretty name, don't you?"
"I've got mine!" the golden horse interrupted. "Apple Pie!"
"Apple Pie?" Sumatra said. "I think that's a dessert, not a horse's name."
"What can I tell you?" the colt said. "It's what popped into my head. I must be hungry!"
"Maybe," Kona suggested gently, "you should try again."
"Okay," the golden horse agreed. He squeezed his eyes shut and concentrated.
Finally, he let out an explosive breath and, with it, a word: "Sirocco!"
He opened his eyes.
"That's it! That's it! Sirocco!" he brayed triumphantly. He looked down at the meadow and waved his hoof. "Hello, down there? My name's Sirocco!"
"Who are you talking to?" Kona asked.
The three fillies glanced downward. They saw a young girl standing alone, looking puzzled. She was holding a dandelion stem and peering up into the sky. She looked nice, but sad.
Kona used her own hoof to wave to the girl. As she did, she noticed that the halo of flowers dancing around her waved as well!
But the girl didn't seem to notice, because she called out, "Come back!"
"No problem!" Sirocco replied. Batting his wings extra hard, he darted downward until he fluttered a few feet above the girl's head.
But the girl still didn't react.
"You guys," Kona said breathlessly. "This is really strange. That girl? I don't think she can see us! And I don't know why!CHAPTER 2
A Big Surprise
"What do you mean she can't see us?" Sumatra gazed at the girl in the dandelion meadow. "We're right here!"
"Weird!" Sirocco said with a nicker.
"Maybe," Kona added thoughtfully, "weird isn't the word for it."
"But it is weird," Brisa insisted. "How can that girl ignore us when we're so pretty?"
To emphasize her point, Brisa spun in the air. The jewels on her halo shone like a necklace, and her blond mane shimmered.
Kona swallowed a laugh and said, "I don't think she means to ignore us. But something's making us invisible to her."
"Invisible!" Sirocco said. His eyes went wide. "Does that mean we're ghosts?"
"No," Kona said excitedly. "More like something ... enchanted. You know, like fairies."
"Oh, please," Sumatra snorted. "What's so enchanted about flying horses?"
"Okay," Kona challenged her. She pointed at a woodpecker flying nearby. "Check out that bird. Do you notice anything about him?"
"He flies," Sumatra noted, "just like us."
"But do you see what's different from us?" Kona asked.
"There are no butterflies or flowers dancing around him," Kona said, answering her own question and motioning at the halos that surrounded Sirocco and herself. "No ribbons or jewels either," she added, pointing at Sumatra's and Brisa's halos.
Sumatra gasped. For the first time, she noticed that a ring of fluttering ribbons was floating around her, following her every move. Brisa, too, saw that she was surrounded by a halo of jewels.
"You're right!" Brisa squealed.
"So," Sumatra asked, "do you think it's these halos that are making us invisible?"
"I do," Kona said. As she nodded, she spotted a horse paddock on the far edge of the dandelion meadow.
"Look!" Kona said to her pals. "There are more of us over there!"
"Do you think the little girl can see them?" Sumatra wondered.
"Let's go over and ask 'em," Sirocco said.
The four tiny horses took off. But as they approached the paddock, Kona frowned. Something about these horses wasn't right. To start with — they had no wings!
What's more, the horses were enormous.
"What kind of strange horses are they?" Sumatra asked her friends.
She asked the question so loudly that one of the wingless horses — a pretty chestnut mare munching on hay — pricked up her ears and snorted.
"I should ask you pip-squeaks the same thing," she said. "I've heard of miniature horses, but this is ridiculous!"
"Hey!" Sirocco said. "Who are you calling ridiculous?"
Before the mare could answer, a gelding galloped over.
"Those are the weirdest-looking flies I've ever seen!" he whinnied to the mare. "Want me to get 'em with my tail?"
He raised his giant, brushy black tail.
"Eeek!" Brisa neighed. She flew to Kona and hid behind her. "He's going to swat us!"
At the sound of Brisa's frightened whinny, the gelding cocked his head.
"Hey, those little buzzy things are horses," he said to the mare.
Kona cringed. These huge horses didn't seem to like them very much. But Kona needed answers. So, she politely pressed on.
"Sorry to bother you," she said, "but are you invisible to girls like we are?"
"Are you kidding?" The gelding laughed. "Not only can girls see us, they love us. They feed us and brush our coats and ride us. Too bad you're too puny — not to mention invisible — for all that!"
Now, a spotted gray filly trotted over.
"So what if they are puny," she said to the gelding. "I think they're neat. I wouldn't mind being invisible myself every now and then."
Then she turned to Kona and her friends.
"You guys aren't like any horses I've ever seen," she said admiringly. "You fly."
"Well, sure!" Sirocco said. "How else are we supposed to get around?"
"Young fellow," the mare said haughtily, "horses walk. Or canter, trot, or gallop. We even jump. But horses do not fly."
"Then what does that make us?" Sumatra demanded.
"I'm sure I don't know," the mare said. "And I don't care to help a huffy one like you figure it out, either!"
Turning around abruptly, the mare, and then the gelding, strutted back to the other side of the paddock.
But the young gray filly stayed put. She gazed up at Kona and her friends.
"I think I know what you are," she whispered. "I think you're ... enchanted."
"Wow!" said Brisa, exchanging delighted grins with her friends. "Kona was right!"
"No wonder the little girl can't see us," Sirocco yelled joyously. "We're no ordinary horses. We're magic!"CHAPTER 3
Magic in the Air
"I can't believe we're magic!" Sumatra shouted.
"We're totally unique!" Brisa cried. She spun around in the air.
"I'm king of the world!" Sirocco crowed, doing a backflip.
"Well, let's not get carried away," Kona said.
Sirocco stopped, mid-flip.
"Are you telling me that you're not excited about being magic?" he demanded of Kona.
"Of course I'm excited!" Kona said. "But I'm also curious. I mean, what do magic horses do? Why are we here? What's our purpose?"
"I have a question of my own," Sirocco said. "What would be more fun? Talking about what we do, or going off and doing it?"
Flitting her wings, Brisa rose high above the others and gazed down at the farms and fields, forests and streams beneath them.
"It is a beautiful world out there," she said. "I'd like to see it."
"And I want to test out my magic," Sumatra declared. "You know, to see what I can do with my ribbon-y halo!"
Kona nudged one of the flowers in her magical halo and laughed as it wiggled around, tickling her.
"Okay, guys," she said. "You have a point —"
"'Nuff said!" Sirocco cried. "Look out, world! Here we come!"
He fluttered his wings so hard, they buzzed. Then he zipped off.
Kona turned to Brisa and Sumatra.
"Well, he's sure in a hur —"
Before she could finish saying "hurry," Sumatra had darted off, too!
And Brisa? Where was Brisa? Kona looked around wildly. Then she glanced up to see her resting on a cloud.
"Ooh, I just love being magic, don't you?" Brisa called.
Before Kona could answer, Brisa disappeared into the cloud.
And just like that, Kona was all alone.
But then, one of the flowers in her halo caught her eye. Kona couldn't be sure, but it looked like the flower was winking at her.
"Brisa, Sumatra, and Sirocco are right. Being magic is fun!" Kona said to herself. She let her wings hum and darted forward. "C'mon, flowers. Let's see what we can do!"CHAPTER 4
Bunches of Butterflies
Sirocco was so excited, he couldn't fly straight.
Not that he considered flying straight to be very important. It was much more fun to do flips, loop-de-loops, and spirals as he flew.
He felt like he could fly all day.
Well, he could if he wasn't so hungry.
"I need fuel!" Sirocco announced to himself. "Something sweet. And crunchy. And juicy. Hey!"
Sirocco had just spotted a leafy tree in the center of the meadow. It was covered with big, red, shiny —
"Apples!" Sirocco shouted.
He dove down to the tree. Its fruit was almost as big as he was! Sirocco took a big bite out of one of the apples.
"Yum-o!" Sirocco chomped until he'd nibbled the apple down to its core.
"Aaah, I'm finally full," he said.
He was so full, in fact, that he felt kind of heavy. And sort of sleepy. And before he knew it —
Sirocco had toppled out of the apple tree — right into a bush covered with flowers!
"Whoa!" Sirocco cried. The impact popped several tiny butterflies right out of his halo. They flapped and fluttered indignantly for a moment. Then they recovered and flew over to the bush's purple flowers. Immediately, they began dipping into the flowers and drinking nectar.
"Hey, butterflies!" Sirocco complained. "You left a hole in my halo. Come back!"
Fizz! Fizz! Fizz!
Sirocco jumped. No sooner had he ordered his butterflies to return to him than new ones appeared in his halo.
"Wow!" Sirocco said. "Look at that! Not only can I pop butterflies out of my halo, I can fizz up new ones!"
Sirocco kicked some more butterflies out of his halo. Pop, pop, pop. And more fizzed in. Fizz, fizz, fizz!
"This is incredible," Sirocco cried. "I wonder how many butterflies I can make. A dozen? Fifty? A hundred? Why not?"
With that, Sirocco popped out a swarm of magic butterflies. It was only then that he noticed — he and his butterflies weren't alone.
There were other butterflies drinking nectar out of the bush's flowers. They weren't magic — they were orange and black and real.
"Hi, there!" Sirocco called to the closest real butterfly. It glared at Sirocco.
"Sorry to drop in so suddenly," Sirocco said with a silly grin. "What kind of bush is this?"
"This is a butterfly bush," the butterfly said brusquely.
"No wonder my little guys like it so much," Sirocco said.
His magic butterflies drank the nectar so hungrily, in fact, that they crowded the real butterflies out! Before long, almost all of the real butterflies got fed up and flew out of the bush altogether.
Only the butterfly who'd first spoken to Sirocco remained.
"Sorry!" Sirocco said to the butterfly. "I guess that was kind of rude."
"It was more than rude!" the butterfly said. "Don't you know what you've done? If butterflies don't drink nectar, they don't pollinate flowers. And do you know what happens when flowers don't get pollinated?"
"What?" Sirocco asked, not sure he wanted to know.
"Next year's flowers don't grow, that's what!" the butterfly answered.
"Oh, no!" Sirocco said. "What do I do?"
"You're the one who made this mess," the butterfly replied. "You figure out what to do!" Then he flew away.
Feeling guilty, Sirocco gazed at his butterflies flitting around the bush.
"Okay, guys," he commanded. "It's time to come back into my halo."
But instead of obeying, the magical creatures flew out of the bush and began searching for more sweet nectar.
"Oh, no!" Sirocco said again. "What do I do now?"CHAPTER 5
Up, Up, and Away
Meanwhile, Brisa found herself with her head in the clouds! One moment, she was talking to Kona, the next, she was wrapped in cotton candy.
"Ooh, lovely!" Brisa cried. The cloud felt wonderful — airy and watery, all at once.
I think Kona should stop worrying about why we have magic, Brisa thought, and try riding on a cloud. I'll go tell her.
But when Brisa emerged from the cloud, Kona had disappeared!
"I wonder where she went," Brisa said. She gazed across the meadow, but the group's leader was nowhere to be seen.
Brisa did see something else, though.
It was a huge band of colors, arcing out of a distant cloud — a rainbow!
"It's the prettiest thing I've ever seen!" Brisa cried. "Besides myself, of course."
Thinking of the rainbow and her pretty self, Brisa remembered the question Kona had asked the horses: "Why are we here?"
"I think we're here to add beauty to the world!" Brisa decided. She combed a hoof through her mane. "Now, as I see it, the only thing more beautiful than a magic horse or a rainbow is a magic horse and a rainbow! So, I'm going to go see it up close!"
Brisa began flying with all her might.
The thing was, no matter how far and fast she flew, she didn't seem to get any closer to the rainbow!
Brisa desperately wanted to reach it.
But she was also getting tired.
"Maybe," she murmured to herself, "I could stop and rest for a minute."
At just that moment, another fluffy cloud bobbed by. It looked as soft and inviting as the first one. Brisa didn't think twice — she hopped onto the new cloud and sank into it with a grateful sigh.
And before she knew it, she'd fallen fast asleep.
* * *
Brisa didn't know how much time had gone by when she awoke with a dainty snort. All she knew was that she felt great — rested and ready to seize the rainbow!
"I just have to figure out where the rainbow is!" she said. "I can't see a thing with all this cloud in my eyes."
About to take flight, Brisa fluttered her wings gently. But she stayed right where she was!
"Okay, cloud," Brisa said sweetly. "This has been lovely, but I have to go find my rainbow now."
This time, she kicked her legs and flapped her wings at full speed ahead. But —
Brisa was stuck!
"What's going on?" Brisa cried. Not that it did any good. The cloud had her completely fogged in. She couldn't see anything!
But she could still feel. So she poked around the cloud with her hooves. They tapped up against the jewels of her magic halo. But her jewels didn't feel quite right. Usually, they bounced around her. Now, they were absolutely still.
"Caught ... in the cloud!" Brisa realized suddenly. "I'm trapped here! And I don't know what to do!"
"Hello? Helllllp!" she neighed out, all of a sudden afraid. "Can anybody hear me?"
Excerpted from Wind Dancers: If Wishes Were Horses by Sibley Miller, Tara Larsen Chang, Jo Gershman. Copyright © 2008 Reeves International, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
A Doozy of a Dandelion,
CHAPTER 1: Dancing on the Wind,
CHAPTER 2: A Big Surprise,
CHAPTER 3: Magic in the Air,
CHAPTER 4: Bunches of Butterflies,
CHAPTER 5: Up, Up, and Away,
CHAPTER 6: All Tied Up,
CHAPTER 7: Flower Power,
CHAPTER 8: Mastering Magic,
The End — of the Day,
About the Author and Illustrator,