About the Author:
ERICA DAVID is an author of books for young readers. She has written several books based on the Frozen movie, including Anna & Elsa: Return to the Ice Palace, as well as for the How to Train Your Dragon TV series, such as How to Pick Your Dragon.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Queen Elsa of Arendelle looked out one of her castle windows. It was a glorious morning in the kingdom. The sun shone brightly. It danced across the waters of the fjord.
Below, the people of Arendelle were just starting the day. Shopkeepers opened their windows and doors. Fishermen walked to the wharf. Ice harvesters set out for the frozen lake nestled in the mountains.
Elsa was proud of her village and the people in it. They had come to trust her, even though she wasn’t like most queens. Most queens couldn’t cast spells of ice and snow. Most queens couldn’t make a walking, talking snowman. Most queens couldn’t accidentally set off an eternal winter, leaving the village completely frozen! Not so long ago, Elsa had been worried that the people of Arendelle wouldn’t accept her because of her differences, but to her delight, they had embraced her wholeheartedly.
Elsa stepped back from the window. The beautiful weather made her long to go outdoors, but she had royal duties to attend to. She turned to her desk. The plans she had been working on for the town’s new plumbing system were waiting. The pipes and canals would carry water to every part of the village. But the builders couldn’t start without the queen’s go-ahead.
Elsa sat down and picked up the plans. Seconds later, the door to her study sprang open. Her younger sister, Anna, bounded into the room. Her eyes were brimming with excitement.
“Do you know what day it is?” Anna asked eagerly.
“Tuesday?” Elsa guessed. “Today’s the day we cross number three off the list!” Anna exclaimed. She hurried over to her sister, unrolling a long scroll of paper. It was Anna’s list of Things to Do in Arendelle. She’d been keeping it ever since Elsa became queen. Anna cleared her throat to announce number three.
“Florian’s Famous Flangendorfers!” she said.
“Flangen—what?” Elsa asked.
“Flangendorfers. The most delicious dessert in all of Arendelle,” Anna explained cheerfully.
Elsa shook her head, puzzled. She’d never heard of a flangendorfer.
“Aren’t you excited?” Anna asked. She took Elsa’s hand and pulled her to her feet.
“I am, but I have work to do,” Elsa replied.
“How can you work on a day like this?” Anna said. She twirled around in the shaft of sunlight shining through the windows. “Come on, Elsa, just one flangendorfer.”
Elsa bit her lip as she considered. It was such a beautiful day. One flangendorfer wouldn’t hurt. “Okay,” she agreed.
Anna whooped with delight. “I love our visits to the village,” she said. “There’s a whole world out there!”
Anna’s excitement was contagious. Elsa couldn’t help smiling.
The sisters walked through the palace gates. They strolled along the cobblestone streets of the town.
By now the village shops had opened. The town square was filled with merchants. Some wheeled carts of fruit for sale. Others sold beautiful scarves and jewelry. Many waved to Anna and Elsa.
“Isn’t this wonderful?” Anna said. “Just look at all there is to see!”
Elsa noticed a small girl making her way through the crowd. The girl carried a bouquet of fresh flowers. She had two dark braids that bobbed up and down. She skipped happily toward Elsa and Anna.
The little girl held her flowers up to Elsa. Elsa smiled and reached out to take the bouquet. “What’s your name?” she asked gently.
“Ingrid,” the girl said quietly. Now that she was face to face with the queen, she seemed nervous. Ingrid lowered her eyes and dropped into a deep curtsy.
“It’s okay. Don’t be shy,” Elsa said. She took the bouquet from the girl’s trembling fingers. “Thank you for the flowers.”
Ingrid remained absolutely still. She looked like she had no idea what to do.
Anna noticed the girl’s confusion and gently raised her from her curtsy. She leaned down to whisper in Ingrid’s ear. “She’s not as intimidating as she looks,” Anna joked, pointing to her sister, who was smiling. Elsa didn’t look the least bit intimidating.
Ingrid giggled. She waved timidly to the queen. Elsa waved back.
“Oh, what’s that on your dress?” Anna asked Ingrid. She pointed to the child’s bright blue pinafore.
Curious, Ingrid glanced down. As soon as she did, Anna playfully tweaked her nose. “Just kidding,” she said.
Ingrid laughed and squealed in delight. She seemed to forget her nervousness about meeting the queen. She made another curtsy and darted off into the square.
“How adorable,” Anna said, leaning over to sniff the flowers. She plucked a sprig of purple heather from Elsa’s bouquet and tucked it behind her ear. Elsa smiled. Anna definitely had a way with people.
The sisters weaved through the crowd of villagers in the square.
“Are you sure you know where you’re going?” Elsa asked.
“Of course!” Anna replied. “I’ve been planning this visit forever!”
“Forever?” Elsa said doubtfully.
“Well, maybe not forever,” Anna admitted. “But at least since you became queen.”
Elsa remembered the day of her coronation. Until then, the castle gates had been shut. None of the villagers had been allowed inside. It was all because Elsa hadn’t wanted her powers to hurt anyone. She had thought the only way to keep everyone safe had been to keep them out.
On the day she became queen, though, the castle gates had been opened wide. Back then, Elsa had been worried about her secret. She had been nervous about meeting the townspeople. Anna, on the other hand, couldn’t wait to welcome them.
Now Elsa was relieved that she didn’t have to hide her powers anymore. She and Anna could leave the palace any time they liked. But although Elsa was free to explore, new people and places took some getting used to after all those years alone.
Lost in thought, Elsa didn’t notice the gruff fisherman in front of her. She accidentally walked into him, knocking his basket of fish onto the cobblestones.
“I’m so sorry,” Elsa said.
The fisherman grumbled until he realized who she was. One look at Elsa and his entire expression changed. “No, I’m sorry, Your Majesty,” he said formally.
“Please, it was my fault,” Elsa said, smiling. She bent down to gather up the fish.
“No, no! I’ll take care of that,” the fisherman insisted. He bowed deeply and waved the queen aside.
Elsa hesitated. She didn’t want the villagers to treat her differently just because she was the queen. She wanted to help.
Anna had been watching the whole scene. She tapped the fisherman on the shoulder.
“Hey, she’s not that kind of queen,” Anna whispered conspiratorially.
“What kind of queen is that?” the fisherman asked.
“The off-with-his-head kind,” Anna replied. “She’s the kind who really wants to pick up the fish. I think you should let her do it.”
The fisherman looked from Anna to Elsa and back to Anna again. “Are you sure?” he said.
“I’m sure. In fact, the princess insists,” Anna said, pointing to herself.
The fisherman relaxed. A broad smile spread across his face. “Well, if the princess insists,” he said. He moved aside and let Elsa help him collect his fish. In no time, they’d placed all of the shiny silver trout in the basket.
The fisherman thanked Elsa and Anna for their help. He disappeared into the crowd with his fish.
“How do you do that?” Elsa asked.
“Do what?” Anna said.
“He was worried I’d be angry, but you knew just what to say,” Elsa explained.
“I don’t know,” Anna said, shrugging. “It’s not magic. I just talked to him. I guess I’m a talker.”
“I talked to him, too,” Elsa pointed out.
“Yes, but you’re very . . . queenly,” Anna said, grinning. She held up her hand and waved stiffly to the crowd to demonstrate.
“I don’t wave like that,” Elsa said, laughing. “You make me look like some kind of ice princess.”
“Well, aren’t you?” Anna teased gently.
“I prefer snow queen,” Elsa said lightheartedly. “You’re the princess.”
Anna laughed. The sisters linked arms and crossed the square.
“We’re almost there,” Anna said. Florian’s Famous Flangendorfers was just down the road. Elsa could already smell the sweet pastries.
Just then, her ears pricked up. A band of village musicians was playing at the edge of the square. The townspeople had gathered to listen. They clapped and swayed to the music.
Elsa and Anna were charmed by the bubbly melody. They walked closer to the band, clapping and snapping along. Elsa drew several coins from her purse. She dropped them into a nearby jar for the musicians.
The musicians recognized Elsa at once. They stopped playing and bowed deeply to the queen. Then they picked up their instruments again. They played a slow, dignified song. It was Arendelle’s royal anthem.
Elsa tried her best to clap along, but the song was too slow. It sounded nothing like the cheerful song the band had been playing moments before. The villagers began to fidget. Arendelle’s royal anthem wasn’t just slow—it was also long.
Suddenly, Anna hitched up her skirts. She kicked up her heels and started to dance. The musicians noticed and played faster. They wanted to keep up with Anna’s sprightly steps. Elsa laughed and danced along with Anna. The anthem had never sounded so good!
Soon the villagers joined the dancing queen and her sister. Everyone moved happily in time to the music. Elsa and Anna danced across the cobblestones all the way to Florian’s Famous Flangendorfers.
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