Lizzy peeked from underneath her covers and listened, holding her
breath. Everything looked big and scary in her new bedroom. Shadows
lurked in the corners, and crowded under the dresser. Shadows lurked in
strange places. Lizzy shivered. With a quick exhale, she threw the
covers back and jumped down from the bed. She raced to the door, pulled
it open and tiptoed into the hall. She opened the door to her
“Jay-Jay, you awake?” Lizzy whispered from the dimly-lit doorway.
“Yeah,” he whispered back and sat up in bed.
Lizzy tiptoed into the room and closed the door behind her. Her shadow
flitted through the moonlight, and she crawled onto the bed.
“What’s wrong, sis? Did you have a bad dream?”
Lizzy shook her head. “My new room is scary. And I miss home.”
“Texas is our home now.”
“Don’t you miss Chicago? Even a little?”
“I dunno. Maybe a little.” Jason hesitated. “I do miss playing in
“Me too.” Lizzy snuggled up next to him. “Do you think we’ll
have any snow for Christmas?”
Jason shrugged. “I don’t think so, sis. It hardly ever snows in
“Will Santa still come if it doesn’t snow?”
“Of course. It doesn’t snow everywhere on Christmas.”
“But what about Rudolph? He needs to guide the sleigh through the
Jason sat still and didn’t answer for a long time. “I guess no snow
just makes Santa’s job easier.”
Lizzy thought for a moment then sat up in excitement. “Jason, what if
we make a wish for snow?”
“Oh, come on, Lizzy, that’ll never work.”
“If you wish on a star, it will.” Lizzy slid out of the bed, grabbed
his hand and tugged. “Haven’t you ever heard of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle,
Little Star?’ Come on, Jay-Jay, if we both do it, it’ll definitely
Jason groaned at his baby sister but let her drag him to the window.
“Okay, repeat after me.” Lizzy tucked her short brown hair behind
each ear, then clasped her hands in front of her. She looked up into the
sky for the biggest, brightest star she could find. “I wish I may, I
wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight. I wish with all my might
and all my heart for it to snow.”
Jason repeated after her.
They stared through the window into the darkened sky. Neither moved.
Lizzy barely breathed as they waited.
Jason sat back and said in a harsh voice, “I told you it wouldn’t
Lizzy sat down with her back against the wall. “Maybe it doesn’t
happen right away.”
“Yeah, whatever.” Jason flopped onto the bed. “Go back to
Lizzy looked out the window one last time, hoping to see even the
tiniest snowflake. Not seeing any, she trudged back to her room.
The next morning, Lizzy’s voice jolted Jason from his sleep.
“Jason! Jason! Come quick!” Lizzy called from her bedroom across the
He sat up, rubbing sleep from his eyes. “What now, Lizzy?”
“Lizzy, I told you, it doesn’t snow in Texas.”
“No, Jason, look!” Lizzy hurried into his room and pointed at the
Jason walked over to the window in his bedroom. Even before he reached
the windowsill, he saw the small pile of snow mounded against the glass.
A thick blanket of white snow, untouched and sparkling in the bright
sunlight, covered the backyard.
Lizzy looked at him with a smug smile. “I told you the wish would
“I can’t believe it,” He stared out the window, wide-eyed. “That
wish did work! Come on, let’s go!”
Lizzy hurried to pull on her bright pink snowsuit, still packed in a
winter box they brought from Chicago. The arms were a little short but
her gloves made up the gap. She tugged on her boots, ignoring the pinch
of her littlest toe. She flung her favorite scarf around her neck as she
hurried down the stairs, Jason right behind her.
In the kitchen, their mother stood at the sink, holding a cup of
“Mom, it snowed! Can we go play?”
“I know! I can’t believe it snowed. I thought we left the snow up
north when we moved here.” She sighed, and then took a sip of her
“Oh well, you still have to eat your breakfast first, snow or not.”
She set two bowls of steaming oatmeal before them then looked out the
back window. “The weatherman got it really wrong this time. He said it
would be 80 degrees today. Apparently not.”
As soon as they’d both finished and put their dishes in the sink, they
looked at their mother. “Now, can we go play?”
Their mother nodded. “Just be back in time for lunch.”
Lizzy squealed, and they ran out the front door. She immediately threw
herself down on her back in a clean patch of snow and began moving her
arms back and forth, as though she were doing jumping jacks. Carefully,
she stood in the center and looked down at the snow angel she’d just
made. A clump of packed snow hit Lizzy in the shoulder. “Hey Jay,
don’t do that!” Lizzy ducked from the next snowball.
“Snowball fight!” Jason announced. He threw another snowball at his
Giggling, she scooped up a handful of snow, packed it tightly, and then
threw it as hard as she could. “Bull’s-eye!” she squealed, as the
snowball hit Jason in the stomach.
“I’m gonna get you for that!” Jason said.
Lizzy ran for the side of the house, and the big backyard that lead into
the neighbor’s field. Her breath became a vapor cloud in the air as
she shrieked, running through the thick snow. She turned her head and
saw Jason right behind her with his arm outstretched to catch her
shoulder. Lizzy shrieked and zipped sideways, out of his reach. Then he
caught the hood of her coat and yanked her to the soft snow. He began
They wrestled in the snow, Lizzy giggling and breathless. “Stop! I
give. You win.” She could barely speak she was panting so hard.
Jason sat up, his clothes coated in snow. “I think it’s almost lunch
time. We better get home, or Mom will get worried.” He stood and
brushed snow off his clothes, then helped her to her feet.
“But where are we?” she asked, turning around to look back the way
they’d come. Partly melted and messy snow showed where they’d
wrestled but otherwise looked untouched. Nearby, Lizzy could see a small
clump of trees but no houses.
“I don’t know. We didn’t go that far. Where’s Mr. Whitmeyer’s
“Look over there.” Lizzy pointed at a small grouping of buildings in
the distance. “Maybe someone there can tell us where we are.”
“Remember what Mom says. We’re not supposed to talk to strangers,”
Lizzy put her hands on her hips. “Well, what do you think we should
do? Do you see anywhere else we can go?”
Jason looked around. Snow stretched in all directions. His shoulders
slumped. “You’re right.”
They walked toward the small group of white houses. As Jason and Lizzy
got closer, they could see the house was smaller than a normal house
with a rounded snow covered roof. Icicles dangled from the roof and
frost filmed the windowpanes. Pine garlands wrapped around the porch
columns. Lizzy reached out to touch the wall. It was slick like frozen
ice. A wreath made of pine boughs and brightly colored ribbons hung on
“Look, Jason, a snowman. Someone lives here.”
Jason stopped. “Lizzy, wait. Did that snowman just… move?”
Lizzy stopped and stared. Her mouth dropped open, as a snowman hopped
“Ahh!” the snowman yelled and tumbled over backward at the sight of
them. Jason and Lizzy hurried forward to help him to stand again.
“How’d you two get here?”
The kids looked at each other, and then back at the snowman.
“You can talk?” they asked.
“Oh.” The snowman frowned; at least, it looked like he frowned.
“Well, of course I can. But what … how… what are you doing here?
You’re not supposed to be here!”
“Why not?” Lizzie asked.
“I … I … don’t know why, but you’re not! You’re children,
and children are not allowed.” He wrung his scarf and paced back and
forth. “Oh, this is bad, bad, bad. What do I do? What do I do?” The
snowman stopped and stared at them. “I must get to the North Pole;
there’s no time to waste.”
“Oh, can we come, too?” Lizzie asked. “Pretty please?
“I don’t know… there are… rules about these things you know,”
the snowman said. ”Well, I can’t leave you here all alone. You’ll
just have to come too.” The snowman pulled forth a small bag. From
within it, he pulled out a small, yellow wooden airplane. The snowman
began to wind the toy.
“What are you doing?” Lizzie asked.
“Getting our plane ready,” the snowman said.
“Our plane?” Jason stepped back. “You’re joking, right?”
The snowman finished winding the airplane and set it on the ground.
“Step back and give it some room.”
“First, a talking snowman. Now we’re supposed to fly in a toy
airplane.” Jason shook his head. “I must be dreaming.”
Lizzie clapped her hands. “Look, it’s getting bigger!”
They watched, as the plane grew larger. A rope ladder unraveled down to
the ground. Stubby wings extended from either side of the plane. They
did not look big enough to support the plane. A wooden propeller began
to spin faster on the front nose.
“Hurry!” The snowman climbed the ladder and into the first seat.
Lizzy looked at Jason, and shrugged. He helped her climb up the side of
“Seat belts everyone,” the snowman said. Once all three seatbelts
clicked, a clear cover locked into place overhead.
“You’re sure this thing will fly?” Jason asked, gripping the
seatback in front of him. His fingers curled like claws and left indents
in the seat cushion.
“Of course, I am. Now hang on, here we go.”
The plane began to coast forward, gaining speed. Lizzy held on as hard
as she could. Beside her, Jason barely breathed. The plane became
lighter. They soared into the blue sky and began flying impossibly fast,
straight north. Lizzy looked down. Beneath them, in all directions, the
land was a bright white blur.
Morty twisted in his seat to look at them. “My name is Mortimer J.
Coldsworth, but everyone calls me Morty. Who are you?”
“I’m Lizzy. This is my brother, Jason.” Lizzy replied. “Why is
it so important to go to the North Pole anyway?” Lizzy leaned forward,
straining to hear over the rushing wind.
“I’m awake too early,” Morty said.
What do you mean?” Lizzy asked. “I didn’t even know snowmen could
“Snowmen are made from snow and a little pinch of magic. Each year we
wake up on Christmas Eve until Christmas Day to help Santa bring the
Jason cut in. “I hate to tell you this Morty but today’s only the
21st of December. Christmas Eve isn’t for another three days.”
Morty wiggled in his seat. “I know, I know. Oh, I wish this plane
would go faster! It’s too warm and too early. The snowman village is
melting. That’s what woke us all up this year. I just have to get to
Santa before it’s too late. He’ll know what to do. I’m sure of
“But how does a snowman village bring the Christmas spirit?” Jason
“Have you ever looked out the window on the day before Christmas and
watched the snow fall?” Morty asked.
Jason and Lizzy nodded. “We grew up in Chicago, so we love the
“That snow helps to bring the Christmas spirit to the whole world on
Christmas morning. It doesn’t matter where it snows, as long as it
snows somewhere. As snowmen, our job is to help decorate the snow. It
helps people remember it’s Christmas time. It makes people smile, and
think of others first, and to be nicer to each other.”
Jason shrugged. “I’m sorry Morty but I don’t get it. It’s just
snow, what does that have to do with Christmas?”
“The snow is what brings the magic. It spreads throughout the world on
the winter wind. Without it… well, I don’t know what would happen
because it’s never happened before, but it wouldn’t be good!”
“Oh no!” Lizzie cried and hunched forward, pulling her coat tighter
around herself. “That means it must be my fault.”
Morty looked at her. “Lizzy, how could this possibly be your fault?”
“My brother and I made a wish for snow last night. Then this morning,
it started snowing.” Lizzy hung her head and tried to hide a tear
sliding down her face.
“Oh, I see. Well, I doubt wishing for snow had anything to do with
it.” Morty smiled at her. “But that’s a great wish, by the way.”
Lizzy sniffled. “Thanks.”
“Where are you two from anyway?”
“What do you mean?” Lizzy hesitated and bit her lip. “We live in
“Texas?” Morty tilted his head and chuckled. “Oh my, you’re very
far from home. Isn’t it normally hot there?”
“Well, it doesn’t snow much,” Jason said. “But it’s not
usually as warm as it has been lately.”
“Mom says we’re having one of the warmest winters on record,”
Lizzy clasped her hands together and stared out the window. “Mom is
going to be so mad at us for missing lunch.”
“I sure hope Santa knows what to do.” Morty pointed ahead. “Look,
there’s his workshop.”
Excerpted from "Jason, Lizzy and the Snowman Village: Jason and Lizzy's Legendary Adventures (Volume 1)" by Charity Kountz. Copyright © 2012 by Charity Kountz. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.