The Wind Dancers—Kona, Brisa, Sumatra, and Sirocco—are back with four more full-color illustrated titles sure to delight the imaginations of horse-loving little girls everywhere.
When the Wind Dancers find themselves at a county fair, they are enchanted by everything there is to see (from the show jumping horses to the English pleasure rides) and do (riding horses that, astonishingly, look just like them). Carousel rides, anyone?
About the Author
Sibley Miller, author of the Wind Dancers series, is the pseudonym for an author of novels for teens.
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: Merry-Go-Horses
A Brisa Story
By Sibley Miller, Tara Larsen Chang, Jo Gershman
MacmillanCopyright © 2011 Reeves International, Inc.
All rights reserved.
One sparkling morning, high above their dandelion meadow, the four brightly colored Wind Dancers took flight.
Kona pranced on the air.
Sumatra zipped along.
Sirocco somersaulted from one cloud to the next.
And Brisa, as usual, bobbed on the breeze. Every now and then, she twirled around to admire the curls of her blonde mane and the sparkle of her magic jewels.
"I'm starving!" Sirocco neighed, as the butterflies in his magic halo nodded in agreement.
"You're always hungry, Sirocco," Brisa burbled. "Even if we'd just had a huge breakfast, you'd be hungry!"
"But we didn't just eat a huge breakfast," Sirocco pointed out.
"It's true," Sumatra agreed. "We didn't have any breakfast today!"
Kona put a hoof on her own belly, trying to quiet its rumbling.
"If we all focus on flying instead of on being hungry," she said evenly, "we'll make it to Leanna's garden and get breakfast."
"Carrots!" Brisa cooed.
"The ones in Leanna's garden are super-big," Sirocco replied. "Just one can feed all of us and leave enough leftovers for a carrot pudding!"
"As if you're ever hungry right after a meal, Sirocco," Sumatra teased.
"Speaking of our favorite girl, Leanna," Brisa said, "I wonder what she's doing today."
"Maybe Leanna and her dog will go to the big horses' paddock to visit the doggies!" Kona suggested, her eyes lighting up at the thought of the puppy who had lived with them before finding his way back to his canine family in the paddock.
"Or maybe ..." Brisa said, as the Wind Dancers arrived at Leanna's farm house, "she'll just get into a truck and go away."
Her friends looked at her quizzically.
"That's not a very fun thought, is it?" Kona replied.
Brisa cocked her head.
"Maybe not," she said. "But look!"
Kona, Sirocco, and Sumatra followed the pink filly's gaze and gasped. Leanna was indeed tromping toward her family's red pickup truck. Her parents and her little sister, Sara, were with her. And each of them was weighed down with stuff.
Leanna carried an open cardboard box with the biggest, most beautiful tomato Brisa had ever seen. Sara had two pretty painted model horses in her arms.
The girls' mother toted a large flowerpot brimming with pink roses. And their dad lugged a picnic cooler and a jug of lemonade.
The family packed everything in their truck.
"We better get going!" Leanna said to her family as the Wind Dancers hovered invisibly nearby. "My tomato has to be in place for judging before ten!"
"Why would anyone judge a tomato?" Sirocco asked. "Did it commit a crime?"
While the colt laughed at his own joke, Sumatra rolled her eyes.
"I wonder where they're going?" she mused.
"Wherever it is, it's too bad for us," Kona said, with a whinny. "I was looking forward to a little Leanna time today. Oh well, what do you horses want to do instead?"
"Wind sprints?" Sirocco proposed.
"Dance practice?" Sumatra offered.
Her eyes still fixed on Leanna's family, Kona asked, "And Brisa? What's your vote?"
When Brisa didn't answer, Kona looked around.
"Where did she disappear to?" the violet filly asked Sumatra and Sirocco.
Sumatra looked around for a moment, too. Then her eyes went wide.
"Look!" she gasped.
She pointed her nose toward the pickup truck. There, perched on Leanna's big shiny tomato was ... Brisa!
"Come along, Brisa!" Sirocco called. "Our carrot awaits!"
But Brisa was so busy settling onto Leanna's smooth, fleshy tomato, sniffing its earthy aroma, and admiring its beauty that she didn't hear her friends calling her.
She also didn't hear an ominous sound.
The pickup truck had started.
"Brisa?" Kona warned with a note of alarm in her voice. "I think they're leaving!"
Sumatra gazed at the long, hilly road that lead away from Leanna's farm.
"Leaving for who-knows-where!" she added.
"Tra, la, la," Brisa warbled.
The truck had shifted into gear.
"Brisa!" Sirocco, Kona, and Sumatra neighed together.
"Hmmm?" Brisa replied absently. She glanced up at her friends.
But before the three Wind Dancers could respond, the truck began driving off.
It gained speed as it turned out of the driveway.
It got even speedier as it drove down the first hill of the road.
But still, Brisa didn't take flight to rejoin the other Wind Dancers.
Her three friends gazed at each other for a moment. Instantly, they knew what they had to do.
"Fillies," Sirocco said, fluttering his wings and beginning to zip after the truck, "it's time to dash!"
* * *
Kona, Sumatra, and Sirocco had to fly like the wind to catch up to the pickup truck! When they did—hot and panting—the trio glared at the pink filly.
"Oh, hi!" Brisa chirped. "Isn't this fun? I'm so glad you came along on the ride!"
"Ride?" Sumatra sputtered. "You left us no choice but to follow you! And anyway, people don't pack this much stuff for a 'ride.' Leanna and her family are going on a major road trip!"
"And now we are, too," Kona scolded. She whinnied in alarm as the truck took a sharp turn.
"I have no idea where we are!" she announced.
"Silly!" Brisa giggled. "We're right here in Leanna's truck."
"And clearly that's where we're going to stay!" Sumatra said, her voice wobbling.
"Sounds like an adventure to me!" Brisa replied excitedly.
"I wonder where we're going," Sirocco chimed in, suddenly becoming excited, too.
Sumatra looked around the bed of the pickup truck.
"Hmmm," she said. "We've got roses and a tomato."
"And don't forget Sara's pretty painted horses!" Brisa added, fluttering over to a box where the model horses were nested. "A pinto and an Arabian. They're so pretty! If only they had wings and comb-able manes and tails!"
As Brisa sighed over the missed beauty opportunity, Kona frowned in thought.
"Let's see," she mused. "Where would one take potted flowers, a giant tomato, and painted model horses?"
But before Kona could figure it out, the pickup truck began to slow down.
"Um, horses?" she asked, looking around. "Wherever we're going, I think we're there!"
Craning their necks, the Wind Dancers first saw a country road fence. The fence posts were woven with small shrubby plants dotted with dew-drops that sparkled like jewels. Beyond the fence, the horses could see rows of long, low buildings and tents—and lots of excited people.
They also spotted a giant Ferris wheel and a twisty roller coaster.
They heard lots of laughter, applause, and clanging bells.
They smelled popcorn, hot dogs, and doughnuts.
Finally, they gazed up at a giant banner. It read, "Welcome to the 44th Annual Fulton County Fair!"CHAPTER 2
Pie in the Sky
"Oh, a fair!" Brisa cried in delight. "See? I knew this would be an adventure!"
Sumatra and Kona glanced at each other and stifled smiles. They knew their flighty friend hadn't had any idea where she was going when she'd perched in the truck.
"Well, since you brought us here," Kona said to Brisa, "you should decide what we do first!"
"Ooh!" Brisa replied. "I think we should ride the pretty Ferris wheel! Although, what's to stop us from flying up to the top ourselves? So maybe we should follow Leanna and her beautiful big red tomato instead! I bet she's entering it in a 4-H contest. But then again ..."
While Brisa went on, debating this or that activity, Kona noticed that Leanna's father was looking at his watch.
"Now remember, everyone," he was saying, "we have to be back on the road at three P.M. sharp so we can get home in time to milk the cows."
Kona pricked her ears up and looked at the sun. It was about nine in the morning.
"Whatever we do," Kona said, "we have to do it in the next six hours. We can't miss our ride back home!"
"Six whole hours!" Sumatra thrilled.
"Only six hours?" Brisa complained.
Kona laughed and looked at Sirocco.
"I guess this is what they mean when they say some see the glass as half empty," she said, "and some as half full."
"Forget half full!" Sirocco declared, his belly grumbling. "I need full-full! As in a full-full oatmeal milkshake. Or apple smoothie. Or carrot juice. If I don't get some grub soon, I'll collapse!"
"Drama horse!" Sumatra scoffed. But her growling stomach revealed that she was as hungry as Sirocco was.
All the foody smells in the air made it worse—for every horse except Brisa, of course. She was still deep in debate mode.
"... I haven't even considered the quilt competition," she was saying. "Oh! I bet those quilts are so pretty. But what about—"
"—food!" Sirocco neighed, interrupting Brisa so loudly that she had to stop and pay attention. "What about breakfast!"
"Right!" Brisa said, without missing a beat. "That's a good idea. But where should we go? To the fast food tents on the midway? To the fruit and veggie displays? Or how about ..."
Sirocco wasn't listening. Instead, he was sniffing the air. In one direction, he smelled the earthy aroma of just harvested vegetables. Healthy!
But when he turned toward a cheery striped tent and sniffed hot apples, cinnamon, and pastry, his nostrils flared. Breakfast!
"Let's go that way!" Sirocco whinnied. Without giving Brisa a chance to ponder any more, he dashed toward the tent. The fillies followed.
Inside the tent, a man was just stepping up to a microphone.
"Hope you're hungry, y'all!" he said. "The Fulton County Fair Apple Pie Eating Contest will be startin' up soon! Now, you know the rules. Whoever can eat the most pies in ten minutes wins—you guessed it—more pies! And remember, no forks or hands allowed. This is a face-down-in-the-dessert contest."
The people milling about laughed, while Sirocco whinnied triumphantly.
"This contest was made for me!" he neighed. "After all, I don't have hands. And I am very hungry."
"We know, we know!" Sumatra said with a laugh. "An eating contest! Sirocco, I think you've found your dream event."
Kona laughed, too. Then she pointed to a wide metal beam that ran beneath the peak of the tent. It provided a perfect view of the pie-eating table—and looked like a comfortable place for four tiny flying horses to perch.
"There's a good place to camp out," Kona said. "We can keep an eye on the contestants below us—"
"—so you can tell that I've won!" Sirocco whinnied. "Now, we just need to find some pie for me."
"For all of us!" Sumatra replied hungrily.
"Sumatra and Brisa," Kona ordered, "you go look for apple pie. I'll prep our contestant for the big moment!"
She turned to Sirocco.
"Okay, we'll start with some simple jaw-stretching exercises," she began, "then move on to belly-poofing drills."
As Sirocco began stretching his mouth ridiculously wide, Brisa giggled, waved good-bye to her friends, and flew off.
As she fluttered above the tables, she admired all the pretty pies waiting to be devoured in the competition. She had every intention of scavenging for forgotten pie bits for the fillies' breakfast and Sirocco's contest. But then, something else caught her attention.
In the next tent over was another set of tables groaning with food.
Lovely cakes. Four-layer wonders dotted with pink flowers. Coconut-dusted snowballs. Sheet cakes glossed with chocolate glaze.
"Oooh!" Brisa whinnied. Before she knew it, she'd left the pies behind for the creamy beauty of all those cakes!
Brisa was so enchanted that she did a happy little twirl in the air. And that's when she spotted the jelly jars on the other side of the cake tent.
The jars—which were filled with blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry jams—seemed to glow from within. Their colors were almost as pretty as those in Brisa's jewels!
The pink filly just had to take a closer look.
She flitted from one gleaming jam jar to the next, ooh ing and aah ing at the intense colors. She was even more enchanted when she realized that she could see her reflection in their glass!
At first, Brisa sighed at her own loveliness. But when she took a closer look at herself in a strawberry jar, she gasped.
Her pale pink coat was still pink, but no longer pale. In fact, she was bright red!
"I have a sunburn!" Brisa neighed. "Oh, no! How could I have let this happen?"
With scary images of red blotches rushing through her mind, she took flight again.
"Let's see," Brisa muttered to herself desperately. "What do you put on a sunburn? Lotion? Aloe vera? Butter? Or, how about buttercream! "
Brisa whizzed back to the cakes. She found the most luxurious-looking one—and swiped a big, soothing gob of frosting off it with her hoof. She dipped her head down to smear the icing all over her face.
"Ahh," she sighed. "That's much better. Except ..."
Brisa blinked—and felt her long lashes stick to her cheeks.
"... except now I'm all sticky!" she neighed. "Ohhhhhh! What do I do now?"
The answer was clear, of course. Kona and Sumatra would get her out of this fix.
Brisa flew back to her friends. Only when she landed in their midst, above the pie-eating table, did she remember her original mission. She was supposed to have brought back some apple pie bits for all of them to feast on!
But there were so many other things to do and see, Brisa protested silently. And there was also my dreadful sunburn to consider. Injured horses can't fetch pie!
Luckily for the Wind Dancers, Sumatra had scrounged up a forgotten apple tart. Even after the fillies helped themselves to some apples inside it for their breakfast, it was still plenty big for Sirocco.
"I am so winning this contest!" the colt crowed.
"Yay for you!" Brisa said to Sirocco feebly, before turning to Kona and Sumatra.
"Look at me!" she neighed desperately. "I'm a bright red, cake-smeared mess!"
"Mess, yes!" Sumatra said through a nibble of sliced apples. "Red? Only if you're blushing because you ditched us!"
"I didn't mean to!" Brisa whinnied. "It's just, there were so many wonderful things to see. Cakes as tall as barns. And beautiful jellies. It was in a jar of strawberry jam that I spotted my horrible sunburn!"
"Um, Brisa," Kona said, gazing at the filly over her apple filling. "Did you just say strawberry jam? Maybe that's the red you were seeing. Because you're perfectly pink!"
"What?" Brisa twisted her head to look down at her belly and then at her flank. Kona was right. She was as unburnt and beautiful as ever!
"Oh, goodie!" Brisa burbled. "But I'm still sticky. Do you have a towel?"
Sumatra swooped down to the floor, nipped up a crumpled napkin, and tossed it to Brisa—just as the announcer grabbed the microphone again.
"Eaters, take your places at your pie plates!" he called.
"Here we go!" Sirocco whinnied, trotting over to the apple tart and licking his lips.
"Rah, rah," Brisa muttered vaguely. She carefully wiped her face with the old napkin, wishing it was a pretty, plush towel instead.
"Get ready, get set," the announcer yelled. "Eat!"
Sirocco dove into his apple tart.
Chomp. Gobble. Slurp. "Oh, yum!" he groaned. Then hechomped, gobbled, slurped some more.
"That's it!" Kona neighed to the colt. "Pooch out that belly, just like we practiced! Work those choppers!"
"Wow, Sirocco!" Sumatra cheered. "You're going to eat the whole thing!"
"Go, Sirocco," Brisa mumbled distractedly. Finally, she was satisfied that she'd returned to her original beauty.
"Now," she said, "I can cheer Sirocco on proper—
Sirocco stopped chewing and fell over. His face was smeared with apple filling. His belly was round and taut. And his apple tart was almost finished!
"That's it, y'all!" the announcer said. "And it looks like the winner is ... big ol' Hugh Hartley, who consumed six entire apple pies! Hugh, you've won yourself a whole mess of more pies to take home!"
"But if you look at the size of that man compared to six pies," Kona rushed to assure the groaning Sirocco, "and the size of you compared to your tart, you clearly won. Your apple tart must have weighed half as much as you do!"
"Ohhhhh," Sirocco moaned. "I'm so full, I can't possibly eat ever again! Or at least until lunch."
"That's too bad!" Sumatra said with a gleam in her eyes. "Because here's your prize!"
She trotted to another crumpled napkin resting on the beam near the horses' perch and whipped it away. Beneath the drape was another discarded apple tart!
"I guess I could try to get another one down," Sirocco decided.
"Oh, do!" Brisa said eagerly. "I missed most of the contest, Sirocco, but I'm ready to watch you gorge yourself now!"
"No way!" Kona ordered the colt, as he unhinged his jaws to take a bite of his prize pie. "Sirocco, if you eat any more, you'll burst! Take that tart with you. You can have it later."
"Good idea!" Sirocco replied with a grin.
"Oh," Brisa added in disappointment. She hung her head. Sirocco may have been full to bursting, but she felt vaguely empty.
As the Wind Dancers fluttered out of the pie tent, Sumatra said to her friends, "What's next?"
Brisa felt hope bubble up within her again.
What's next? she wondered. I don't know, but I hope it's something fabulous!
Excerpted from Wind Dancers: Merry-Go-Horses by Sibley Miller, Tara Larsen Chang, Jo Gershman. Copyright © 2011 Reeves International, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Macmillan.
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
Meet the Wind Dancers,
CHAPTER 1: Drive-by Brisa,
CHAPTER 2: Pie in the Sky,
CHAPTER 3: Show (Me the) Jump,
CHAPTER 4: A Model Horse,
CHAPTER 5: The Horses at the Fair Go Round and Round,
CHAPTER 6: Eye on the Prize,
You Say Tomato ...,
Preview: Horsey Trails,