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.
Wanting to be loved the way real, big horses are, the Wind Dancers carelessly wish away their magic. Now they have to act all grown up (and do things that regular horses do, like go to the vet, and put on horseshoes), even though they are still pint-sized and still invisible to people!
For bonus information, contests, and more Wind Dancers fun, visit the Breyer Wind Dancers website.
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: Magic Horsesâ"or Not
A Sirocco Story
By Sibley Miller, Tara Larsen Chang, Jo Gershman
MacmillanCopyright © 2011 Reeves International, Inc.
All rights reserved.
A Big (Horse) Surprise
One bright morning, Kona, Sumatra, and Brisa clip-clopped into the kitchen of their apple tree house.
"Where's Sirocco?" Brisa asked between yawns. The jewels in her magic halo were just starting to glimmer in the morning light.
Kona glanced around the kitchen. Next to a nearly empty basket of apple muffins, she saw a scattering of crumbs.
"Clearly, this is one of Sirocco's early-to-rise days," she said dryly. "You know, when he wakes up way before we do?"
"And eats way too much breakfast," Sumatra added, "forgets to clean up, and then goes out to do show-offy loop-de-loops for all the other early risers in the meadow?"
"Yup!" Kona replied with a laugh.
"That's our Sirocco!" Brisa added with a giggle. "Never a serious moment!"
No sooner had the words left her mouth than the colt himself flew through the window. But instead of fluttering cheerily, his wings moved with urgency and he landed with a heavy clunk!
"Whoa, horsey!" Kona reprimanded him.
"I'll say," Sumatra added. She pointed with her nose at the muffin basket. "You're liable to knock over the few breakfast muffins you didn't eat yet and leave even more crumbs than you did before!"
Normally, Sirocco would have responded with a "Har, har, har." But this morning? He only scowled, while the magic butterflies in his surrounding halo frowned.
"It's happened!" Sirocco neighed
The fillies blinked at him in confusion.
"What's happened?" Sumatra demanded.
"Come with me and see," Sirocco said gloomily. Without another word, he flew back out the window.
Brisa gaped at the other fillies.
"He didn't even pause to gobble another two muffins," she said.
"I know," Kona replied, her dark eyes going darker. "This is serious. Let's go!"
The anxious fillies flew behind Sirocco as he zinged across the dandelion meadow in a joyless line. No playful pirouettes. No skillful somersaults.
He led them to Leanna's farm.
"Oh no!" Brisa whinnied. "Is something wrong with Leanna?"
Sirocco didn't answer. He didn't stop at Leanna's yellow farmhouse, either. He flew beyond it to the big red barn, the double doors of which were wide open.
As the horses approached the hay-scented barn, they heard a couple of familiar sounds.
The first was Leanna's voice—happy and lilting, as she chattered away.
The second sound was a nicker—the deep, rumbling whinny of a big horse!
"But ... Leanna doesn't have a horse," Sumatra said, confused.
Sirocco turned to her, his eyes stormy.
"She does now!" he said.
Once inside the barn, the fillies stopped in mid-air and stared.
Standing in front of a newly built stall strewn with fresh, sweet hay were Leanna and—a pony!
Leanna was smoothing the cute pony's caramel-colored coat with a currycomb.
She was offering him sugar lumps from her pocket.
She was hugging the squat but graceful horse around the neck and kissing his velvety white nose.
"Fillies," Sirocco said, unhappily, "meet Sassy, Leanna's new pet!"CHAPTER 2
In Sassy's Shadow
After watching Leanna dote on her brand-new pony, the Wind Dancers flew back to their apple tree house to talk.
The ribbons in Sumatra's magic halo sagged.
Brisa's bouncy tail drooped and her magic jewels didn't sparkle.
Kona's magic flowers lost petals.
And Sirocco's head hung.
"How can this be?" Sumatra asked in hurt confusion. "We're Leanna's horses!"
"Yes, but she can't see us," Sirocco reminded her. "Which means she can't pet us or feed us or brush our coats."
"And even if she could groom us," Kona added sadly, "we're too little for Leanna to ride."
"Did you see the shiny new saddle in Sassy's stall?" Brisa asked glumly. "It's so pretty. I bet Leanna's going to take her pony out for rides every day."
"That should be us!" Sumatra wailed. "We should be Leanna's pets!"
"We could have been," Sirocco complained, "if only we weren't magic!"
"Weren't magic?" Brisa asked. "What do you mean, Sirocco?"
"Well, if we weren't magic," Sirocco said, "Leanna would be able to see us and pet us."
"I never thought of that!" Kona said.
Sirocco's eyes went dreamy.
"If we weren't magic," he went on, "Leanna would love us the way she loves her pony—even if we are too little to ride!"
The Wind Dancers fell silent—save for some sad sniffles. But before they could get too mopey, Kona spoke up.
"Well, it won't do us any good to sulk," she said. "We can't wish Sassy away. And we can't wish our magic away, either! So we'd better get used to it."
"How?" Brisa asked.
"We need to go have an adventure!" Sirocco declared. "It will take our minds off Sassy. It will take our minds off our magic. It will make us happy!"
But he didn't sound very happy as he said it.
"We'll need the best adventure ever to take our minds off Leanna's new horse!" Sumatra added.
Hoisting himself to his feet, Sirocco plodded over to the tree house's door.
"Let's get to it, then," he said with a sigh.
Without much enthusiasm, he unfurled his wings, preparing to fly over the meadow.
But then something strange happened.
Or rather, didn't happen.
Instead of lifting effortlessly into the air, Sirocco's hooves stayed planted firmly on the tree house's wooden floor.
When Sirocco looked down at his heavy feet in disbelief, he noticed something else.
The magical halo of butterflies that fluttered around him day and night had ... disappeared!
Before Sirocco had the chance to say, "What happened?" Brisa let out a shrill neigh.
"My jewels!" she cried. "My beautiful halo of jewels! It's gone!"
Sumatra, meanwhile, was trying to jump into the air.
"I can't fly!" she neighed. "I'm as heavy as a horseshoe!"
Kona, too, was stunned to find that her flower halo and ability to fly had evaporated like the dew on the dandelions outside.
She blinked with wide, frightened eyes.
"Our magic," she whinnied. "All of our magic is just ... gone!"CHAPTER 3
Be Careful What You Wish For
"How did this happen?" Sirocco neighed, rearing up on his hind legs.
"I can't imagine!" Brisa cried, two fat tears squeezing out of her eyes.
Sumatra stared at Sirocco and said, "I can imagine!"
"Why are you glaring at me?" the colt demanded with a stomp of his hoof.
"Because," Sumatra replied through gritted teeth, "wasn't it you, Sirocco, who said, 'If we weren't magic, Leanna would love us the way she loves her pony'?"
Sirocco's mouth dropped open in shock.
And Kona put on her most mom-like frown of disapproval.
"Sirocco!" she scolded. "You wished our magic away!"
"Noooooo!" Sirocco neighed.
"Yesssss!" Brisa and Sumatra neighed back.
"Okay," Sirocco admitted unhappily. "Apparently, I did wish our magic away. But how was I supposed to know that would happen?"
"Just wish it back," Kona ordered the colt nervously.
"Good idea," Sumatra echoed. "I've got ribbons to tie, places to fly to."
"Fine," Sirocco said. "I'll wish our magic back. I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I guess I'll figure it ou—"
Suddenly, Sirocco bit back his words.
"Well?" Sumatra said impatiently.
"Wait!" Sirocco replied. "I just realized something. I meant what I said before! Maybe Leanna would love us if she could see us. And now that we're no longer magic, maybe that's possible! Maybe we're not invisible to humans anymore."
"Do you really think so?" Brisa breathed.
"There's one way to find out," Sirocco said. "We have to go see Leanna!"
Kona couldn't help but feel a zing of excitement at the idea of Leanna finally being able to see the Wind Dancers. She could tell by their hopeful faces that Sumatra and Brisa felt the same way.
So she gave Sirocco a firm nod and declared, "Okay. Let's go see Leanna."
"Awesome!" Sirocco declared. "I said we needed an adventure to take our minds off of Leanna's new pony. And what's more adventurous than making our way in the world as 'regular' horses? I bet I'll be great at it. I mean, if Thelma and Benny can do it ..."
Sirocco snorted as he poked fun at the Wind Dancers' big horse friends, who lived in a paddock at the edge of the dandelion meadow.
"Hmmm," Sumatra grumbled. "Sounds like a mis adventure to me!"
"Either way, we don't have a choice," Kona said sensibly. "We'll go right after an early lunch. After all, Sirocco, you're the only one of us who had breakfast!"
"Whoa there," Sirocco said to the violet-black filly, stopping her before she could reach the kitchen. "Making lunch? In a kitchen? That's not very 'regular' horse, is it?"
"But it is very Sirocco," Kona replied. "Do you mean to tell me that you don't want a nice home-cooked meal?"
And his stomach growled.
But then he thought about everything that had happened that morning. About seeing Leanna loving her new pony.
About the accusing eyes of the fillies when they'd realized he'd wished away their magic.
About the adventure of living life on the hoof, just like a big horse.
And Sirocco gritted his teeth and nodded firmly.
"That's right. I don't ... want ... a home-cooked lunch," he said with some effort.
"What will we have for lunch then?" Brisa asked with wide eyes.
"We'll do as the regular horses do!" Sirocco said. He gulped and added, "Graze."
"Graze?" Sumatra said. "On grass?"
"No," Sirocco said. "On a succulent salad of alfalfa, clover, and ... grass. Delicious!"
"Sirocco smacking his lips over grazing," she said with a laugh. "This I've got to see. Okay, let's go!"
Kona began to clop over to the front door before skidding to a halt.
"Oh!" she neighed. "For a minute, I forgot we couldn't fly!"
"And I have no ribbons to make a ladder with," Sumatra complained.
Sirocco gasped, then trotted over to the door and poked his nose through it.
"How are we going to get down?" he neighed. "We're tree house shut-ins!"
Suddenly, a voice rumbled up from below.
"Maybe you just need to try a little harder, horsey!"
Sirocco peered through the red-gold leaves of the apple tree to find the source of the voice. He felt his heart leap when he spotted a roly-poly squirrel ambling through the grass.
"Gray!" Sirocco called. "My buddy! Make that my best friend in the world!"
Gray gave the colt a wry look.
"'Best friend in the world,' eh?" he said with a laugh. "Tell me, Sirocco—what kind of trouble do you need good old Gray to get you out of this time?"
"Wellllll," Sirocco said sheepishly, "our magic seems to have—"
"—disappeared!" Sumatra finished, giving the colt a mighty glare. "Thanks to our friend Sirocco, here!"
"Wind Dancers without wind?" Gray mused. "That's like a squirrel with no scamper."
The fuzzy squirrel shuddered at the idea of it.
"I know!" Sumatra agreed. "It's terrible!"
"Nasty!" Brisa chimed in.
"Very inconvenient," Kona grumbled.
"Hello!" Sirocco jumped in to say. "Have you forgotten about the Leanna factor? About our friend finally getting to set eyes on us?"
And love us way more than she could ever adore that pony, he thought to himself.
And that's when Gray hopped onto the apple tree trunk, scampered up to the horses' door, then crouched on their living room floor.
"Anyone care for a ride? Who's first?"
"Gray!" Brisa whinnied with a giggle. "You really are our best friend in the world!"
"Yeah, yeah," Gray joked, waving a friendly paw at her. "You can make it up to me sometime with a big apple crunch cake."
And with Brisa clutching the scruff of the squirrel's neck with her teeth (and uttering muffled shrieks the entire way), Gray shuttled the filly to the ground. Three more runs up and down the tree, and all the Wind Dancers had landed!CHAPTER 4
A Day in the Life of a (Non-Magical) Horse
"Our tree house tree sure looks tall from all the way down here," Kona said. "And so far away!"
"Which makes our adventure that much more exciting!" Sirocco brayed. "Last one at lunch is a rotten apple!"
Before the fillies could say another word, Sirocco ducked into the tall grass of the dandelion meadow.
"Well," Kona said with a toss of her violet-black head, "all the excitement has made me hungry!"
"And a fresh, green salad would be pretty," Brisa admitted.
So the fillies trotted into the meadow and followed the sounds of munching to Sirocco. They found him with his mouth too full of grass to talk.
"Ew, this is bitter!" Brisa said, as she nibbled a dandelion leaf.
"Mine's kind of drippy!" Sumatra said, curling her lip at the milky dandelion stem she'd just picked.
Kona pulled up her grass a little too hard and got a dirt-covered root.
"Oh, my!" she neighed. "I guess we're just not used to food that big, ground-bound horses eat."
"What are you talking about?" Sirocco demanded, leaves still hanging out of his mouth. "I think this lunch is awesome!"
Then he waited until the fillies looked away before quietly spitting out his wad of grass behind a thicket of dandelions.
Who knew green salads were so ... earthy! Sirocco thought, trying hard not to cough. After all, he still wanted the fillies to have fun on this adventure. If they did, maybe he would feel a bit less responsible for turning them into non-magical horses.
So—even though his stomach was still rumbling—Sirocco announced, "Whew! I'm stuffed. Are you guys ready to head to Leanna's?"
"Definitely!" Sumatra said. "If Leanna can see us, not only will she love us—hopefully she'll also feed us some better food than this grass!"
"Let's go!" Sirocco whinnied. He pointed his nose in the direction of Leanna's farm and began to canter through the dandelions. His friends trotted alongside him.
"You know, when you fly all the time," Kona said between clip-clops, "you don't realize how much fun it can be to just run."
"I know!" Brisa said. "I love the way my mane and tail are bouncing in the breeze. Up in the air, I'm prone to terrible tangling!"
"Yeah," Sirocco agreed. "This is the li-mmmph!"
The cantering colt was cut off by a giant dandelion puff, which hit him squarely in the face! He skidded to a stop so he could cough and sneeze the fluffy parachutes out of his mouth.
"Yuck!" he whinnied. "That's even worse than the green sal—"
Sirocco caught himself before he admitted how little he'd liked their lunch. Then he threw his golden head back and nickered, "Onward!"
But the Wind Dancers hadn't gotten much further when Brisa stopped in her tracks.
"Oh no!" she cried. "Look!"
Her friends followed her gaze down to her forelegs. Her white socks were mottled with mud and her normally lovely hooves were caked with dirt and grass.
"This is much uglier than a few horsehair tangles!" Brisa wailed.
"Leanna will fix it!" Sirocco said quickly. "I bet when she sees you, she'll give you a warm bath. With ... with flower petals floating in it!"
"I wish I had flowers still surrounding me," Kona grumbled, glancing at the empty air around her. She missed the constant companionship of her magic flower halo.
Still, the Wind Dancers pressed on. But now, their canter had slowed to a walk.
"Is it just me," Sumatra piped up, "or is it taking forever to get there?"
"We're so much faster in flight," Brisa agreed. "Cleaner and prettier, too."
"Now horses," Kona admonished them, "the patient pony gets the prize."
"Wow, that saying is lamer than a lame horse," Sumatra joked. But mid-giggle, she suddenly lurched forward with a whinny of pain.
"Owwwww!" she neighed. "I tripped on a pebble!"
"Talk about a lame horse!" Brisa cried. "Are you okay?"
"I guess so," Sumatra moaned, hobbling a bit on her hurt hoof.
"My hooves are sore, too," Kona said. "All this pounding on the ground—I'm not used to it!"
"Oh, please," Sirocco scoffed. "You fillies sure are a bunch of lightweights!"
"We were, actually," Sumatra snapped, "back when we could fly. It was a good thing!"
Sirocco searched his mind for a snappy comeback. But the fact was, his hooves were aching, too.
And his belly felt empty.
And his nose was getting scratched up from pushing through all the plants of the meadow.
And Leanna's farm was still so very far away.
But just when Sirocco felt like he might sit down in the dirt and give up, he spotted something over his head.
It was a split-rail fence.
And not just any fence—it was the fence that enclosed the paddock where Thelma, Benny, Fluff, and Andy lived!
Instantly, Sirocco's energy flooded back. Whinnying with delight, he began cantering toward the fence.
"What are you doing?" Sumatra demanded. She pointed with her white-striped nose to the right of the paddock. "Leanna's house is that way."
"But, clearly, we horses need a rest stop," Sirocco said. "And what do you know—here we are at the big horses' paddock!"
"Oh!" Sumatra said. "From all the way down here, I didn't even realize!"
Sirocco ignored the sting in Sumatra's comment. Instead, he said, "While we're here, we can show our friends what a great job we're doing at being regular horses like them!"
"Well, that is cheering!" Kona said with a mischievous gleam in her eyes. The little Wind Dancers and the big horses were lightheartedly competitive about everything from their size to soccer. The little horses were always looking for new ways to best the big.
Excerpted from Wind Dancers: Magic Horsesâ"or Not 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: A Big (Horse) Surprise,
CHAPTER 2: In Sassy's Shadow,
CHAPTER 3: Be Careful What You Wish For,
CHAPTER 4: A Day in the Life of a (Non-Magical) Horse,
CHAPTER 5: Shoeing, Shoeing, Shod,
CHAPTER 6: Leanna, at Last,
I Think I Hear Them Calling My Name,