It's Christmas in Fairyland. What better time for a field trip to the North Pole? But bad news awaits the fairiesSanta isn't planning to give out any toys on Earth-Below. He doesn't think any Little Big People believe in him anymore. The fairies have to change his mind. With a little help from Santa's reindeer, they'll try to save Christmas for everybody!
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Read an Excerpt
Hey! Watch it, fairy!"
Dorrie Windmist glanced back. Laurel, another little fairy, was sitting behind her and frowning.
"I'm sorry," Dorrie said. "I don't mean for my hair to fly in your face. It just keeps blowing in the wind." She tried to tuck her long unruly curls behind her ears. "There! That should do it!"
Dorrie grinned at her friends. Trina Larkspur, Belinda Dentalette, and Olivia Skye were sitting in a row beside her. The tiny fairies, along with the entire first-grade class from Fairy School, were riding on Blitzen, one of Santa's reindeer. They were on their way to the North Pole for a class trip.
"Look at those pretty ice-capped mountains," called their teacher, Ms. Periwinkle. "Earth-Below can be so beautiful! It's nice to travel from Fairyland for a visit."
Dorrie twisted to smile at Trina again and almost slipped off Blitzen's furry back.
"Oops!" she said.
"You should sit still," Trina told her seriously. "It's easy to fall off and get left behind. You know fairies can't fly nearly as fast as reindeer."
Dorrie laughed. "Especially if you're as clumsy as I am. But I can't sit still! I'm too excited!"
Dorrie's taller sister, Arianna, had told Dorrie about her class trip to the North Pole, so Dorrie knew just what to expect. A guided tour of the workshop, a peek into the reindeer stables, and a delicious lunch--all hosted by Santa Claus. Dorrie couldn't wait.
Dorrie's hair whipped in the wind, slapping Laurel in the face again.
"You're more than clumsy," Laurel grumbled. "You're ridiculous--like that bumblebee who lives next door to my tree-house, always getting stuck in his ownhoney."
"Say anything you want, Laurel," Dorrie said to the mean fairy. "Even you can't bother me today. Christmas is tomorrow. We're going to meet Santa right now. I'm so happy, I could--"
"Jump up and down until the next full moon?" suggested Belinda.
"I'm sure you could do that," Dorrie laughed. "But I don't have that much energy."
"Me neither," Olivia agreed softly. "But I'm excited too. Imagine, we'll get to see all the elves' handiwork--carving, painting--right up close. The toys they make are real works of art."
"Do you know Santa and his elves begin making toys on January second and don't stop until Christmas Eve?" Trina said, flipping through one of the books she'd taken from her fairypack.
"I wonder if we'll see them load the sleigh," Dorrie said. "Maybe we'll even get a ride! I'd love that!"
"Loading the sleigh. Let's see . . . ," Trina murmured, thumbing through the book. "There! On average, that takes three hours, twelve minutes."
Dorrie patted Trina's wing. She was glad they were partners for this trip. It seemed as if Trina had all the answers.
Blitzen made a sharp right turn, and Dorrie grabbed Trina's arm so she wouldn't tumble off.
"Get set for the landing!" Blitzen called to the fairies as he swooped down toward a warm, glowing light.
Dorrie tumbled off Blitzen's back and landed in a soft pile of snow. A red-haired elf wearing a long red scarf scooped her up and held her in his palm.
"Are you all right, little fairy?" he asked.
Dorrie giggled. "Sure I am. You must be Clyde, the chief elf." Arianna had told her that the head elf always wore red and that every toy he painted was bright red too.
"That's me," said Clyde. He gave a quick smile to the fairies, then turned to Ms. Periwinkle. "If you'll follow me, I'll take you around the workshop." He checked his pocket watch, which dangled from a chain. "We don't have much time, so let's get going."
Clyde was showing them the workshop? Not Santa? Dorrie was surprised. Santa had taken Arianna's class there--and he'd let them spend all morning playing with the toys.
"That's okay," Dorrie told herself. "Santa will probably show us the reindeer stables. And then we'll all eat lunch!"
"This way, this way," Clyde said, ushering the class through the workshop door. "And watch your wings, please. This place can get pretty crazy."
"That's for sure!" Dorrie whispered to Trina.
A big round table sat in the middle of the floor. Grouchy-looking elves were working furiously at every seat. Other elves scurried here and there, handing out paints and brushes, nails and screws, and scissors and ribbon. Hammers pounded. Wrapping paper fluttered.
Dorrie gazed wide-eyed at the human-sized toys that covered every inch of the floor.
Olivia stepped inside a dollhouse. "Would anyone like some tea?" she asked, holding up a teapot and cup.
Belinda dove into a toy boat. "Or would you rather go for a sail?"
"I'm going to ride the train!" Dorrie shouted, hopping aboard a shiny black engine. "Look! It has real controls." She leaned closer to examine the knobs and buttons.
Roar! The engine sprang to life.
"Oh, no!" she cried. "I started it by accident!" The train leaped forward. "How do you steer this thing?"
"You can't!" Clyde shouted. "It needs tracks! They must be here somewhere." He desperately searched for a box of tracks among the gifts as the train chugged straight ahead. Faster, faster. It was picking up speed.
"Watch out!" Trina called to Dorrie. "You're headed right for--"
Crash! The train barreled into a pile of teddy bears. Then it stopped.
Trina, Olivia, and Belinda rushed over, fluttering their wings worriedly.
"Are you all right under there?" Trina called.
Dorrie poked her head out from among the bears and grinned. "Sure! These teddy bears are so soft! I wish they came fairy-sized!"
Clyde crossed his arms and frowned. "I think this tour is over, Ms. Periwinkle."
"Yes, yes, of course," Ms. Periwinkle murmured, drawing her fairy students in close. "We're sorry for any inconvenience."
"Yes," Dorrie said, hanging her head. "I'm sorry I messed things up."
"That's all right," Clyde said, softening. "It's just that this year, things are a bit . . . different, and I'm under a little strain."
"Different?" Dorrie repeated to herself. What exactly did he mean?
Before she could ask, a sweet voice swept through the room.
"Ho, ho, ho! Are there any fairies here?"
"It's Mrs. Claus!" Trina exclaimed.
Mrs. Claus bounded into the room. She tucked her curly gray hair under a stocking cap and grinned at the fairies. "Hello, everyone. How is your visit so far?"
"It's wonderful," said Ms. Periwinkle.
Dorrie waved her arm at the jumble of teddy bears. "But I'm afraid I've made a mess."
"Well, accidents happen," Mrs. Claus said cheerfully. "And if I know your teacher, she'll put things in order quicker than you can say Merry Christmas."
Dorrie turned hopefully to Ms. Periwinkle. The teacher nodded, then waved her magic wand at the teddy bears. "Teddy bears, teddy bears on the floor. Straighten up, just like before," she chanted.
Immediately the bears popped up from the floor and landed in a neat pile.
"Thank you," Dorrie said.