Enter an enchanted world of fairy animal friends!
It's summertime in Misty Wood, and Kylie the Kitten is heading off to camp. She loves making new friends, but when it comes to swimming in Moonshine Pond, Kylie would rather keep to the shore. She's afraid of water! Can Kylie overcome her fear?
About the Author
Lily Small is the author of the Fairy Animals of Misty Wood series.
Read an Excerpt
It was dawn in Misty Wood. The sun was just starting to rise, painting the sky with beautiful stripes of rosy pink and purple. Kylie the Kitten lay on her mossy bed, listening to birds chirping in the fir tree overhead. Their sweet songs usually woke Kylie up, but today she was awake long before the birds started to sing.
Kylie jumped out of bed and arched her back, stretching her glittering blue-and-golden wings. She glanced at her reflection in a little pool of dew. Then she licked her velvety paws and smoothed down her fluffy white-and-ginger fur. Kylie wanted to look her very best today.
"Good morning," Mom purred from the other side of their home in the roots of the fir tree. "Would you like a honey-and-berry muffin?"
Honey-and-berry muffins were Kylie's favorite breakfast, but this morning she was too excited to eat. It felt like she had a family of butterflies inside her tummy! Kylie nibbled a few bites, and then brushed the crumbs off her whiskers. Padding over to a toadstool, she picked up a little basket resting on top. It was made from woven flower stems.
Most mornings, Kylie used her basket to collect water from Dewdrop Spring. Like all the fairy animals of Misty Wood, Kylie had a very special job to do. Cobweb Kittens like Kylie decorated the cobwebs of Misty Wood with dewdrops so they sparkled in the morning light. But today Kylie was using her basket for something else. She was packing for summer camp!
Every year, the older fairy animal children were invited to spend a weekend at Camp Sunshine. It was the first time Kylie was old enough to go! She'd heard lots about camp from the other Cobweb Kittens. There were teams and challenges and prizes to win. It sounded like so much fun — and best of all, her friends Connie and Chloe were going, too!
Kylie had never spent the night away from home before. She suddenly worried that she might feel homesick at bedtime. Then she had an idea. She went outside and fluttered her wings, heading from tree to tree until she spotted what she was looking for. Stretched between two branches of a tree was a lacy spiderweb. Kylie carefully took the web down and folded it neatly. Now she had something to remind her of home.
"It's almost time to go!" Kylie's mom called up to her.
Kylie fluttered back to where her mother was waiting.
"Do you have any space left in your basket?" Mom asked.
Kylie nodded, holding it up.
Mom popped a few muffins into the basket and twitched her tail playfully. "I know you're too excited to eat now, but you might get hungry later on."
It was finally time to head out. Kylie and her mom fluttered their wings and rose into the air.
Below them, Misty Wood stretched out like a glorious paint palette, its colors shining in the morning light. Everywhere they passed, fairy animals were busy working to make the wood a beautiful place to live.
In Honeydew Meadow, Bud Bunnies were hopping into the sunlight, ready to nudge open the buds of the yellow buttercups. Nearby in the Heart of Misty Wood, Bark Badgers were carving beautiful designs on the tree trunks. Holly Hamsters were nibbling patterns into holly leaves, and Moss Mice were shaping mossy cushions with their paws.
As they flew over Dewdrop Spring, Kylie could see the Cobweb Kittens filling their baskets. They laughed as they dived in and out of the glittering fountain, catching dewdrops that twinkled like diamonds.
The grown-up Cobweb Kittens waved to Kylie and called, "Have fun at camp!" Kylie waved back, but she flew higher in the air to avoid the dazzling jets of water. Although Kylie loved making cobwebs sparkle, she wasn't very fond of getting splashed. You see, Kylie had a secret. It was such a big secret that not even her very best friends knew about it. She was scared of water!
Kylie and her mom flew a bit farther, past a little waterfall and over a glade of trees, and then Kylie's mom said, "Here we are!"
Just ahead of them was Moonshine Pond, shimmering with pearly light. Lily pads dappled the water's surface, and long, fuzzy cattails and pretty blue irises grew all around the pond.
"But this is Moonshine Pond," Kylie said, confused. From the name, she'd guessed that Camp Sunshine was in a sunny meadow. Oh, dear — this wasn't very good at all.
"The camp is just there, by the bank," said Mom. She pointed toward a row of colorful tents tucked back from the water's edge.
As Kylie got closer, she saw that the tents were woven from reeds, and each one was decorated with a different flower. Glossy red poppies, bright yellow daffodils, pretty bluebells, and snowy-white lilies all sweetly perfumed the air.
The camp looked lovely, but Kylie felt scared. What if water from the pond splashed her? Or even worse — what if the campers had to go swimming?
"Actually, I think I'd rather stay home," she fretted.
"Don't be silly," her mom said. "You'll have a brilliant time."
As Kylie and her mom landed on the banks of the pond, young fairy animals were playing everywhere. Two Pollen Puppies were wrestling on the ground, while a fluffy Bud Bunny played tag with a group of tiny Moss Mice. A small cluster of Dream Deer and Hedgerow Hedgehogs stood giggling together.
Kylie looked around nervously, but she couldn't see her Cobweb Kitten friends anywhere. Everyone else seemed to have made new friends already.
She gulped. First there was the pond, and now Kylie was on her own. The butterflies in her tummy returned, but this time they were flying loop-the-loops!
A beautiful, pale yellow Petal Pony trotted over to Kylie, her shimmering blue wings open wide. "Welcome to Camp Sunshine!" she said. "Is it your first time here?"
Kylie nodded shyly.
"I'm Poppy," the pony said, flicking her silky mane out of her kind eyes. "I came to Camp Sunshine last summer and had so much fun. You're going to love it here! Come and meet everyone."
Kylie looked over at the other fairy animals nervously. Would anyone want to be her friend?
"Are you feeling shy?" Poppy asked her gently.
"A little bit," Kylie admitted.
The pony smiled at Kylie. "That's just how I used to feel," she said. "Not too long ago, I was much too shy to talk to anyone."
But Poppy seemed so friendly and brave. "What did you do?" Kylie asked.
"I learned that if you're kind, everyone will want to be your friend," Poppy said. "And camp is a great place to make new friends."
Kylie suddenly felt much better. If Poppy could make new friends, then so could she!
Kylie turned to her mom. "I'll miss you," she meowed, burying her face in her mom's ginger fur.
Mom nuzzled Kylie's nose and said, "I know you'll have a wonderful time, my brave girl." Then she fluttered her wings and set off for home.
Kylie and Poppy flew over to the crowd of campers, who had begun to form a circle. Two Stardust Squirrels were also arriving, their bushy tails leaving a shimmering trail of stardust behind them.
"Hurry up, Sally," the older squirrel called to the younger one, who was scurrying after her. Then she squealed, "Hi, Poppy! Come and sit next to me." She turned to her younger sister. "Stay here, Sally. I'm going to play with my friends."
The squirrel named Sally sat down next to Kylie. A Bud Bunny with soft white fur and spots the color of chestnuts hopped over and sat down on Kylie's other side. Her whiskers were trembling, which made Kylie think that she might be feeling a bit nervous, too.
Plucking up all her courage, Kylie said, "Hello. I'm Kylie. Is this your first time at Camp Sunshine?"
The Bud Bunny nodded. "I'm Bonnie." Then she added in a whisper, "I was so nervous about coming here that I couldn't eat any clover this morning!"
Kylie smiled and held out her basket. "Would you like a honey-and-berry muffin?"
Bonnie took one and started nibbling. Her purple eyes lit up. "Yummy scrummy in my tummy!"
Kylie giggled. She liked Bonnie. Her mom and Poppy were right — it was easy to make new friends when you were kind! Kylie asked the Stardust Squirrel on her other side if she'd like a muffin, too.
"Thanks," the squirrel said, helping herself. "I'm Sally. My big sister Suzy came to camp last summer, so I can tell you everything you need to know."
But before Kylie and Bonnie could ask her any questions, a Bark Badger made his way into the middle of the circle and held up a strong black paw for silence. The campers stopped chattering and listened with respect, for Bark Badgers were very kind and wise.
"Welcome to Camp Sunshine," the Bark Badger said. "I'm Barry, the camp leader. We have a very exciting weekend planned for you."
He smiled kindly at the campers. "But first, let's sing our welcome song. Can the campers who've been here before help me teach the others?"
"Oooh — I know this song already," Sally whispered to Kylie and Bonnie. "My sister taught me."
Barry cleared his throat and began to sing in a deep voice. Poppy, Suzy, and the other older campers chimed in loudly, and before long everyone else joined in.
"We love it at Camp Sunshine Where the days are long and fine.
We have fun in the summer sun, Welcome, welcome, everyone!" When they'd finished singing, Barry said, "Over the next two days you'll be working in teams."
I hope I'm on the same team as Connie or Chloe, thought Kylie, waving to her Cobweb Kitten friends. She'd finally spotted them sitting across the circle.
"This weekend is all about making new friends," continued Barry. "So we've put you all on teams with different fairy animals."
Excited chatter broke out. Then Barry picked up a piece of bark carved with names and read out the teams. Poppy the Petal Pony was on Pinecone Team. Chloe was put on Chestnut Team, and Connie on Buttercup Team. More teams were called, but Kylie wasn't on any of them. Had the Bark Badger forgotten her?
"And last but not least, we have Acorn Team," Barry said. "Petey, Bonnie, Sally, and Kylie."
Kylie and Bonnie looked at each other in delight. They were on the same team! Kylie's tail twitched happily, and Bonnie hopped with excitement.
A brown puppy bounded over and somersaulted to a halt in front of them. Scrambling onto his white paws, he gave a cheerful salute and barked, "Petey the Pollen Puppy reporting for Acorn Team duty!"
Sally the Stardust Squirrel fluffed out her tail. "The first thing we need to do is pick our tents," she said. "Follow me, girls!"
Kylie and Bonnie scampered after her toward the tents.
"How about this one?" Bonnie suggested, pointing at a tent with delicate sprigs of lavender.
"No, this one's much better," said Sally, hopping over to a tent covered with garlands of bright orange lilies. Without waiting for a reply from the others, she pushed through the ferns that made the tent's door flap.
Kylie and Bonnie followed her inside. As she looked around, Kylie gasped. The beds were mossy cushions, just like hers at home. But these cushions were stacked on a frame made out of sticks — one on top of the other!
"I'll have this one!" cried Sally, fluttering up to the highest cushion and wrapping her fluffy tail around her like a blanket.
Kylie chose the bottom bed. She padded over and set down her basket. Then she took out her cobweb and spread it carefully over her moss cushion.
"What's that?" Sally asked, looking down and frowning.
"It's a cobweb," explained Kylie. "To remind me of home."
"I think it's pretty," Bonnie said.
"We don't need a boring old cobweb to make this tent pretty!" cried Sally. "I've got a much better idea." She leaped down from the top bed and spun around in circles. Her tail shook out a flurry of stardust, making the whole tent shimmer. It did look very pretty, but Kylie couldn't help feeling a little hurt. She didn't think that cobwebs were boring at all.
Just then, Poppy poked her head around their door flap. "Don't get too comfy, girls," she said, laughing when she saw them in their beds. "The first game is about to begin!"
Woodland Treasure Hunt
Kylie and her teammates scampered outside. Along with Petey, who was sharing a tent with a Dream Deer and a Hedgerow Hedgehog, Acorn Team made their way to Barry.
"The first fun activity is a Woodland Treasure Hunt," he told the campers. "It's a great test of speed and teamwork. Each team must find five different woodland treasures. The first team to return with all five will be the winner."
Barry handed Kylie a piece of bark with their instructions. Petey, Bonnie, and Sally huddled around.
"We need to find an oak leaf and a twig," Kylie said, pointing at the beautiful pictures Barry had carved with his sharp claws.
"Ooh! And some moss and a daisy," Bonnie said.
"And a big stone, too," Petey added.
Kylie was relieved that they didn't have to bring back any dewdrops from Dewdrop Spring.
"Easy peasy summer breezy," Sally said. "I know where to find all those things!" Kylie glanced at the other teams, who were studying their lists and murmuring quietly. "Maybe we should make a plan first," she suggested shyly.
But Sally was too busy jumping up and down and cheering. "We are Acorn Team, so shake your furry tail! We are Acorn Team and we will never fail!"
Petey's tail wagged so fast it looked like a blur! Bonnie was hopping up and down, too.
Then Barry clapped his hands and called, "Have fun and remember to work together." He tooted loudly on a reed flute and the Woodland Treasure hunt began!
"Shall I get my basket?" Kylie asked the others. "It might be handy for carrying our treasures."
"There's no time for that," cried Sally. "Let's go!" She opened her wings and flew up into the air. Petey and Bonnie followed after her, their wings sparkling like rainbows.
Not wanting to be left behind, Kylie beat her wings as quickly as she could. "Where should we go first?" she asked breathlessly.
"To the Heart of Misty Wood, of course," ordered Sally. "That's where I gather acorns. There are lots of oak trees there."
The midday sun warmed their backs as they flew to the very center of Misty Wood. Trees spread out beneath them like a sea of green. Kylie and her new friends fluttered down to the ground. It was much cooler here, deep in the woods. The leaves overhead rustled in the breeze.
"This is lovely," Petey panted, rolling around on the soft ground.
"We don't have time to play," said Sally bossily. "We need to find an oak leaf."
"I see one!" cried Bonnie, hopping over to a big tree. She came back waving a green leaf.
"Yippee!" called Kylie. "We've got the first treasure on our list!"
Petey ran into the woods for a moment, and came back with a twig in his mouth. He dropped it at their feet with a flourish. "Here's the second treasure!"
"Hooray!" Kylie and Bonnie cried together.
"I've spotted something, too," Sally said. She scampered over to the oak tree's trunk, where its thick, twisty roots grew out of the damp soil. She scooped something up in her paws, and came back holding a velvety pile of moss. "That's the third thing," she said proudly.
"So what's next?" Petey asked.
Kylie checked. "A daisy."
"I know where there are lots of daisies," the Pollen Puppy yelped. "Just follow me!"
Team Acorn rose into the air again. As they flew over Moonshine Pond, Kylie glimpsed the row of colorful tents. None of the other teams had returned yet.
"Hurry, team!" cried Sally.
The Golden Meadow stretched in front of them, its green grass dotted with yellow buttercups and dandelions.
Petey dived down and tumbled into a bed of dandelion clocks, scattering fluffy white seeds everywhere. "Whee!"
The long green grass tickled Kylie's tummy as she landed on the meadow. Nearby, a group of Pollen Puppies were frolicking, wagging their tails and sending up clouds and clouds of fluffy pollen so that new flowers could grow.
"Hi, everyone!" Petey called to the Pollen Puppies. "Have you seen any daisies?"
A white Pollen Puppy with a black patch over one eye pointed across the meadow. "Try over there, just past that patch of clover."
Kylie and the others dashed across the meadow after Petey, whose long ears streamed out behind him. Then he came to a sudden stop and they all tumbled over him into the grass.
"Oops-a-daisy," joked Petey.
Kylie stood up, laughing. They were surrounded by green stalks topped with small, round buds.
"Oh no," Petey said, his laughter turning to dismay. "The daisies haven't bloomed yet."
Oh, dear, thought Kylie, biting her lip. Sally looked very annoyed.
"I'm sorry," whimpered Petey. "I really thought we'd find a daisy here."
"You've forgotten that there's a Bud Bunny on your team," Bonnie reminded him. Hopping over to the daisy buds, she nudged them gently with her twitching nose.
"Ta-da!" she said. As if by magic, the buds started to unfold, one white petal at a time. Then the flowers lifted their yellow faces up to the sun and bobbed joyfully in the breeze.
"Wow!" Kylie breathed.
"It's just what we Bud Bunnies do," Bonnie said modestly. Then she picked a daisy and tucked it behind her long, silky ear. "What's the last treasure we need to find?"
"A big stone," Kylie replied.
Everyone thought hard. Where, oh where, could they find a big stone?
"I've got it!" cried Kylie. "There are lots of big stones around Crystal Cave."
"That's not far from here," said Petey. With a flurry of beating wings, the fairy animals flew toward the Crystal Cave. Soon Kylie could see the crystals inside twinkling like fairy lights.
"Kylie was right!" shouted Petey. "There are lots of big stones."
Excerpted from "Kylie the Kitten"
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 Camp Sunshine,
Chapter Two Acorn Team,
Chapter Three Woodland Treasure Hunt,
Chapter Four Showtime,
Chapter Five Morning Glory,
Chapter Six The Boat Race,
Other Books in the Fairy Animals of Misty Wood Series,
About the Author,