Enter an enchanted world of fairy animal friends!
Sophie the Squirrel can't wait for the Misty Wood fair. She and her friends are going to perform a special dance. But when they try to practice, things keep going wrong. Sophie is upset--she's sure it's all her fault. Maybe some Misty Wood magic is what she needs . . .
|Publisher:||Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)|
|Series:||Fairy Animals of Misty Wood Series , #7|
|File size:||38 MB|
|Note:||This product may take a few minutes to download.|
|Age Range:||5 - 8 Years|
About the Author
Lily Small is the author of the Fairy Animals of Misty Wood series.
Read an Excerpt
Sophie the Squirrel
Fairy Animals of Misty Wood
By Lily Small
Henry Holt and CompanyCopyright © 2014 Houthouse Fiction Ltd.
All rights reserved.
Rise and Shine!
Misty Wood was brimming over with excitement. The sun was beaming happily as he stretched his rays out to every corner of the wood. The leaves on the trees were rustling cheerfully. The blooms in the meadows were bobbing their heads joyfully in the breeze. And everywhere you looked, fairy animals were fluttering their sparkling wings and whispering behind their paws.
"Tomorrow is the fair!" they chattered. "Tomorrow is the fair!"
High up in an old oak tree, a pretty little face popped out of a hole in the trunk. The face was followed by a silky red body with sparkly violet wings. Last of all came a bushy golden tail that twitched to and fro. It was Sophie the Stardust Squirrel.
"Tomorrow is going to be the best day of my whole life!" she cried. "I can't wait, I can't wait!" Sophie was especially excited because she and her friends had been chosen to perform the opening dance at the Misty Wood fair this year.
Sophie hopped onto a branch and smoothed down her whiskers. Then she flexed her fairy wings and closed her eyes, imagining what tomorrow would be like.
The opening dance of the Misty Wood fair was always lovely. Every year, some clever Bark Badgers made a wooden festival pole, carved with woodland scenes and beautiful swirling patterns. It was placed in the middle of a big, grassy clearing, then brightly colored strands of flowers were attached like ribbons to stream down from the top. Each dancer held a strand and skipped around the pole.
Today the pole would finally be ready, and Sophie and her friends would get the chance to have one last practice.
Sophie jiggled her tail at the very thought and scampered down the old oak tree. She was so excited, she couldn't stay still! When she reached the bottom, she jumped back up again, imagining that the tree was the pole. As she twisted and turned around the gnarled trunk, she thought of all the other fairy animals, cheering loudly as she and her friends performed the dance.
Just as she reached the top of the tree, she heard someone shouting.
"What's all that scraping and scuffling?" Sophie's mom called.
Sophie peered down through the branches. Her mom was poking her head out of the nest in the cozy hollow where they lived, looking this way and that.
"It's only me, Mom," Sophie replied.
"Sophie! Whatever are you up to?" asked her mom, looking up at her. "You're making so much noise that you woke poor Sammy from his nap."
"Oh, I'm sorry, Mom!" Sophie exclaimed. Sammy was Sophie's little brother. He was still very young, so he always had a midday snooze. "I didn't mean to wake him. I'm just so excited about tomorrow."
Sophie's mom smiled. "Yes, I understand. I remember dancing at the fair when I was your age. It was so much fun. But try not to get too excited, Sophie — look at what you've done to our tree!"
"Done? I haven't done anything ..." Sophie began. But as she looked around the branches, she clapped her paw to her mouth. The old oak tree was shimmering silver from head to foot! The leaves were no longer green. The trunk was no longer brown. Every single part of the tree was covered in stardust!
Like all the other fairy animals in Misty Wood, Stardust Squirrels had their own special job. Their big, bushy tails sprinkled stardust whenever the squirrels gave them a shake. They were supposed to scatter the dust lightly over Misty Wood so that it twinkled gently. But the oak tree wasn't just twinkling now. It was glowing!
"Never mind," chuckled Sophie's mom. "The next time it rains it will all get washed away. And, in the meantime, it's quite nice having the brightest tree in the whole wood — at least we'll be able to find our way home in the dark! Now it's time you went to your practice."
"Oh! Is it?" Sophie sat up on her back legs and wiggled her whiskers.
Sophie's mom nodded.
"Hurray!" cheered Sophie. "We're going to dance around the festival pole at last!" With two enormous flicks of her tail, she bounded down the tree, scattering more stardust. She looked up at her mom to wave goodbye. "Uh-oh ..." she murmured.
Her mom's head had turned silver now, too. It was hard to tell where she ended and the tree began!
Sophie's mom laughed and gave her head a shake, sending a cloud of stardust shimmering to the ground. "Good luck," she called. "And be careful what you do with that tail!"
"I will," Sophie said with a grin. "See you later, Mom." And with a flutter of her fairy wings, she flew off to find her friends.CHAPTER 2
Practice Makes Perfect
Sophie rose up above the trees, enjoying the feel of the breeze ruffling her soft fur.
First of all she had to fetch her friend Katie from Hawthorn Hedgerows.
It was a beautiful sunny day, and the delicious scent of hawthorn blossoms wafted toward Sophie as she swooped over the hedges. Soon the glint of a shiny dewdrop caught her eye, and she dived down to land near a silvery cobweb.
"Katie!" she called. "Where are you?"
"I'm over here!" a tinkly voice meowed.
Sophie peeked over the cobweb and spotted her friend's tabby fur and silvery wings. Katie was a Cobweb Kitten. It was the Cobweb Kittens' job to collect dewdrops every morning from Dewdrop Spring, then use them to decorate the cobwebs in Misty Wood.
Sophie watched as Katie fished a dewdrop from her little basket and balanced it perfectly on one of the cobweb's delicate threads.
"Almost finished!" said Katie. "Only two more to go!"
"Good," said Sophie. "It's time for our final dance practice."
"I know," Katie purred. "I was so excited this morning, I kept dropping my dewdrops! That's why I haven't quite finished yet."
"I can help you," Sophie offered. "Shall we place one each?"
Katie gave a big smile. "Yes, please!" She pointed a snowy white paw to the top of a nearby hedge. "Could you put one on that tiny cobweb over there?"
Sophie nodded eagerly. Then she bounded forward and scooped a dewdrop from Katie's basket. It glimmered like a precious diamond in her paws. Holding it carefully, she carried it over to the cobweb. She felt honored to be helping Katie do her job. Sophie placed the dewdrop on the silky strand of web and hopped back.
"Ooh, thank you, Sophie — that looks lovely," Katie said.
Sophie turned to Katie and smiled. "Come on, then, let's go and get Bonnie."
The two friends fluttered off toward Honeydew Meadow. Bonnie was a Bud Bunny. The Bud Bunnies' special job was to nudge the flower buds into bloom by twitching their noses against them. Now, thanks to their hard work, the meadow was bursting with all the colors of the rainbow.
Sophie and Katie hovered over the sea of color for a moment, looking for their friend. Then, in the middle of a patch of pale blue flowers, Sophie spotted Bonnie's sparkly pink wings and soft white fur.
"There she is!" Sophie cried. "She's just about to open another flower."
Bonnie was sitting perfectly still with her nose very close to a nodding flower bud. As Sophie and Katie watched, Bonnie's nose twitched ... and one by one, the petals of the flower burst open.
Sophie and Katie flew down to land beside Bonnie, clapping their paws. Bonnie's long white ears pricked up at the sight of her two friends.
"Hi, Bonnie! Your flowers are so pretty," Sophie said. "Are you ready to come to our dance practice?"
Bonnie twirled her whiskers. "Ooh, is it time?" she asked.
Sophie and Katie nodded.
"I'd better just tell my mom. She's working over there," said Bonnie, waving her paw in the direction of some brightly colored tulips.
Bonnie's mom was sitting in the middle of the tulips, twitching her nose against one of the glossy buds. The friends scampered up to her just as the tulip burst into bloom. Its petals were as yellow and shiny as the sun.
"Mom, can I go to my dance practice?" Bonnie asked.
"Of course." Bonnie's mom smiled at the little fairy animals, and her fluffy cotton tail began thumping on the ground. "I have a nice surprise for you, too."
"Ooh, I love surprises!" Sophie exclaimed, and her tail twitched, sending a puff of stardust into the air.
"What kind of surprise is it?" Bonnie asked, hopping around to catch some stardust on the tips of her ears.
Bonnie's mom smoothed back her whiskers and leaned toward them. "I'm going to make each of you a flower garland to wear when you do your dance at the fair," she said. "I'm going to use the prettiest flowers in all of Misty Wood's meadows!"
Sophie was so pleased, her wings started fluttering. As she rose into the air, her tail twitched this way and that, showering stardust all over the tulips.
"Thank you!" she cried.
"Thank you!" Bonnie and Katie chorused.
"You're welcome," Bonnie's mom said with a smile.
"Now we just have to go and get Polly," Sophie said.
"Have fun!" Bonnie's mom called as she hopped over to a big cluster of crimson poppy buds and began nudging them open.
Sophie, Katie, and Bonnie swooped away, heading toward Dandelion Dell. It wasn't very far, and soon they could see golden dandelions spread out like a carpet of sunshine below them.
The Pollen Puppies were hard at work, bouncing from one patch of blooms to another, wagging their tails as they went. They were doing a very important job — with each wag of their tails, they spread pollen so that there would be even more dandelions next year.
The three friends fluttered around in circles, looking for Polly.
"There she is!" cried Sophie with a beat of her violet wings. "Down there, playing with Paddy."
They floated closer. As usual, the Pollen Puppies weren't just working. They were having lots of fun, chasing each other through the dell, batting each other with their fluffy paws, and yelping with excitement. Polly and Paddy were racing down a row of dandelions, their floppy ears flying.
"Polly!" called Katie, fluttering down to land. "It's time for our last dance practice."
Polly skidded to a halt next to a tall, tufty dandelion. "Oh!" she cried. "Is it really?" She clapped her paws, and her coppery brown tail wagged harder than ever.
Sophie, Katie, and Bonnie gathered around.
"Sorry, Paddy," said Polly. "I have to go now. Do you think you can finish the rest on your own?"
"Of course!" Paddy panted, his little pink tongue hanging out. "But first I'm going to race my tail."
"How do you race your own tail?" Sophie asked with a frown.
"Easy peasy," Paddy replied. "Look!" And with that, he bounded off, his tail wagging so fast it became a golden blur.
Polly smoothed down her ears and rustled her golden wings. "I'm ready," she told the others. "Let's go!"
Sophie, Katie, Bonnie, and Polly flew off across the dell and into the Heart of Misty Wood. As they soared through the trees, Sophie's wings flapped faster and faster — she couldn't wait to see the festival pole. But when they got to the clearing where the dance was supposed to take place, there was no pole to be seen.
They fluttered down to the ground and looked around. An old Bark Badger with silvery wings was busy carving beautiful patterns into the bark of a nearby tree. They scampered over to him.
"Excuse me," Sophie said. "Do you know where the festival pole is? We've been chosen to perform the opening dance at the fair tomorrow, and we need to practice."
The badger stopped what he was doing and smiled at Sophie. "I'm sorry, little Stardust Squirrel, but the pole isn't quite ready yet," he said. "My badger friends are sick, so I am decorating it all on my own. It won't be ready until tomorrow morning."
"But the fair starts in the morning!" Sophie gasped.
The four friends looked at one another. They had worked out all their steps. They'd gone through them so many times that they knew them by heart. But they'd never practiced with ribbons and a pole. What were they going to do?CHAPTER 3
Hello, Mr. Bluebird!
Sophie rubbed her nose with her paw. "We'll have to find a different kind of pole," she said, "and pretend that it's the proper one."
"Yes," Katie agreed. "There has to be something that will do, somewhere in Misty Wood."
They sat in a huddle and tried to think. What would be tall and strong and ribbony enough to make a good practice pole? They scratched their heads and tugged their whiskers. But it was no use — they couldn't think of anything.
"Maybe we should just go and look for one," Sophie said at last.
"Yes," said Bonnie. "But we'll have to be quick. We'll never be ready by tomorrow if we don't find one soon!"
They unfurled their wings and flew off together to begin the hunt. They soared over Hawthorn Hedgerows, but there were only twigs and bushes there. Then they made for Honeydew Meadow, but they could see only pretty flowers.
Next, they glided around the Heart of Misty Wood, but the trees there were too tall and tangly. When they flew over Moonshine Pond, they saw lots of dragonflies, but they didn't see anything that looked like a good practice pole.
"What are we going to do?" wailed Katie, her tabby tail drooping.
"Let's try Dewdrop Spring," Sophie said.
"But that's just water," said Katie sadly. "I've never seen anything like a pole there."
Sophie knew that her friend was probably right. But they couldn't give up — not until they had searched all of Misty Wood. As they fluttered toward Dewdrop Spring, Sophie spotted something in the distance that made her heart leap.
"Look!" she exclaimed, pointing down. "It's perfect!" There, on the bank of the spring, stood an elegant willow tree. Its trunk was tall and straight, but its thin branches swept down all around it — just like ribbons.
"Oh yes, of course," purred Katie happily. "Well done, Sophie!"
"Hurray!" cried Bonnie.
Polly yapped gleefully and did a loop-the-loop, then zoomed down to the willow tree at full speed. Giggling and chattering, the other three followed her. They skipped around the tree, deciding which branches would make the best ribbons.
Suddenly, they heard a voice.
"What's all that noise around my tree?" it twittered.
The four friends fell silent at once. They squinted up into the willow tree.
"It's only ... only ... us ..." Sophie began, peering through the branches. She couldn't see anything at first, but then, right at the top of the tree, she spied a little nest. And perched on the nest was a bluebird, with feathers the color of a bright summer sky.
"We're sorry, Mr. Bluebird," Sophie said. "It's the Misty Wood fair tomorrow, and we're performing the opening dance — but we don't have a pole to practice with. Your tree is the only thing we've found. Would you mind if we use it, just for a little while?" The bluebird hopped out of his nest and flew down to the ground.
"The opening dance, eh?" he chirped, tilting his head.
"Yes," Sophie said, nodding.
"That sounds very important," tweeted the bluebird. "Important enough for you to use my tree. But won't you need some music to dance to?"
"Oh yes," said Bonnie. "We'll have music tomorrow. The Moss Mouse band will be playing for us while we dance."
"But what about now?" asked the bluebird. "How are you going to practice if you don't have any music now?"
Sophie, Katie, Bonnie, and Polly looked at each other. The bluebird was right. They couldn't really know how the dance would go if they'd never tried it with music.
"Well ..." said Sophie slowly, twitching her whiskers. She was beginning to feel a bit nervous. "I suppose we'll just have to hope for the best."
"No, no, no," chirped the bluebird, shaking his head. "That won't do at all. You must practice with music. And I know exactly what music you should have."
"You do?" Polly looked at him hopefully and her tail began to wag.
"It just so happens that I'm one of the best singers in the whole of Misty Wood," said the bluebird proudly. "So, as you've come to my tree and want to dance under my nest, I think I should help the four of you out."
"Really?" Sophie gasped. "You'll sing for us?"
The bluebird puffed out his feathery chest. "I certainly will. Are you ready?"
Fumbling in excitement, the friends scampered around the tree, quickly deciding on which willow branches to use. When each of them was holding a branch, the bluebird spread his wings, threw back his head, and began to sing in a sweet, soaring voice.
It was the most beautiful song that any of them had ever heard. They danced in time, weaving in and out of one another around the tree. First one way, then another, and then ...
"Ow!" cried Sophie, stopping with a bump.
The bluebird stopped singing and flew over to her. "What is it, little squirrel?" he asked.
"It's my tail," gasped Sophie. "I can't move it!"
Sophie's friends gathered around.
"It's all tangled up in the branches," Katie meowed.
Sophie pulled her tail one way. Then she pulled it the other way. But it was no use. She was well and truly stuck!CHAPTER 4
"Oh no!" Sophie cried. "How can we practice for the dance if I'm stuck to the tree?" She looked at her friends, her brown eyes widened in fear. "What if I'm stuck here forever?"
"Don't worry." Bonnie hopped over and patted Sophie with her paw. "We'll soon figure it out."
"We just need to be patient," Katie agreed. "We'll untangle it one branch at a time."
"I'll sing you a patient song, if you like," the little bluebird chirped, perching himself on a branch in front of Sophie. He began tweeting very slowly and gently.
Polly, Bonny, and Katie began working on Sophie's tail. Slowly and gently, in time with the song, they untwisted the long, thin willow branches one by one. Sophie watched them anxiously over her shoulder. Sometimes they accidentally pulled her fur, and she had to try hard not to yelp. To take her mind off it, she closed her eyes and thought of yummy acorns instead.
Excerpted from Sophie the Squirrel by Lily Small. Copyright © 2014 Houthouse Fiction Ltd.. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
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
Chapter One Rise and Shine!,
Chapter Two Practice Makes Perfect,
Chapter Three Hello, Mr. Bluebird!,
Chapter Four Triple Trouble,
Chapter Five Shooting Star!,
Chapter Six The Big Day,
Chapter Seven Rainbow Bright!,
Other Books in the Fairy Animals of Misty Wood Series,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I give this book five stsrs because I have always loved lily small sense I was little.I like that she always tells the deatails well. The pictures are always what she is talking about.It is a good book to learn to read on. I started to read when I was reading paddy the puppy. Paddy the puppy is also by lilly smalls