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Peanuts Movie Novelization Paperback – September 22, 2015
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About the Author
Charles M. Schulz is a legend. He was the hand and heart behind fifty years of Peanuts, which featured one of the world’s most beloved and recognizable casts of cartoon characters, until his death in 2000.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The Peanuts Movie Novelization
The first snowflakes fell right at dawn. They tumbled down from the gray sky, along with one fluffy yellow bird.
Woodstock somersaulted through the air, trying to dodge the snowflakes. But they settled on his wings, slowing him down. He came in for a landing on top of a pile of snow. A large, dog-shaped pile of snow.
The mound of snow underneath the little bird exploded, sending Woodstock shooting up into the air. When he landed again, he was on top of a doghouse—and face-to-face with a black-and-white beagle.
Snoopy let out a happy cry and the two best friends hugged. It was going to be a good day.
Snoopy and Woodstock were the first to wake up in the neighborhood, but the others weren’t far behind. Alarms rang from house to house as kids got up to get ready for a day of school.
Marcie groggily sat up, put on her glasses, and turned off the alarm.
Over at her house, Peppermint Patty sprang up and grabbed the hockey stick by her bedside. Then the freckle-faced girl used it to smash her alarm clock to pieces.
At Schroeder’s house, the blond-haired boy slowly woke up to the calming sounds of classical music written by his favorite composer. He sat up and smiled.
And in a house nearby, Lucy Van Pelt was up and out of bed like a shot, as always. She went straight into her brother Linus’s room. He was still sleeping peacefully, clutching his pale-blue blanket in his arms.
“Linus, time to get up,” she whispered.
Linus kept sleeping.
“You don’t want to be late for school,” Lucy warned gently.
But Linus still didn’t wake up. Lucy’s dark eyes narrowed. She yanked the blanket away from him.
“GET UP!” Lucy yelled.
Linus leaped out of bed. “Ah! My blanket!”
Next door, at Charlie Brown’s house, the phone rang. His little sister, Sally, answered it.
“Hello?” she asked.
“Waa waa waaa,” said the voice on the other end.
“Snow day?” Sally repeated. Could it be true? It was! “Snow day!”
Sally let go of the phone and jumped into the air.
“No school today!” she cheered. Then she picked up her schoolbooks from the kitchen table and happily tossed them into the garbage can.
Word of the snow day spread like wildfire around the neighborhood. Minutes later, kids began to stream out of their houses, dressed in winter coats, mittens, and scarves. They carried hockey sticks and ice skates. Snoopy and Woodstock watched as they ran past the doghouse, headed for Charlie Brown’s house. Snoopy broke into a happy dance. Snow days were so much fun!
The kids began to talk excitedly.
“Franklin and Peppermint Patty are on my team!” announced Lucy. Whenever they played hockey, Lucy always got to be a captain—and she always made sure she got first pick of her teammates.
“I got my hockey stick!” Schroeder cried, waving it in the air.
“I got my skates!” said Franklin.
“Who has the pucks?” Peppermint Patty asked.
Next to her stood a girl named Patty—just Patty. Even though they had almost the same name, it was easy to tell them apart. Peppermint Patty had brown hair and freckles, and Patty had light brown hair and no freckles.
Patty pointed to a boy walking toward the group. Even though it was snowing, clouds of dirt puffed up as he walked.
“Here comes our goalie!” she called out as Pigpen approached.
Patty’s best friend, Violet, shook her head. “Pigpen, were you born dirty?”
Pigpen ignored the comment. He looked at Charlie Brown’s house. “What’s taking him so long?”
“Come on, Charlie Brown!” the others yelled.
Inside the house, Charlie Brown struggled to put on his winter gear. In the spring, summer, and fall, getting dressed was so much easier. He just slipped on black shorts and his favorite yellow shirt with the black zigzag pattern, and he was done. But winter was harder. Winter meant boots that he couldn’t squeeze over his feet and puffy jackets with a zipper that always got stuck and mittens that he always lost.
The sound of his friends outside faded as Charlie Brown hurried to put on his boots, coat, and hat. When he finally finished, he rushed outside.
“Hey, guys, wait for me!” he cried.
But everyone was gone. They had all left for the pond without him. Charlie Brown’s excitement deflated like a balloon.
Then Charlie Brown looked up at the sky. The snow was starting to slow down, and the sun was starting to shine through the parting clouds.
“This could be the day,” he said hopefully.
He dashed back inside and grabbed his newest kite. Then he ran down to the open field, which was perfect for kite flying. He jammed the kite into a snowbank and then walked away from it, unraveling the string as he went.
“A new kite, a gentle breeze—it all feels just right,” Charlie Brown said. “Now that the Kite-Eating Tree is sleeping for the winter, we have nothing to fear.”
Charlie Brown loved to fly kites. But the Kite-Eating Tree always spoiled his fun. In spring, summer, and fall, the tree came alive. Charlie Brown was almost certain that it used its branches like claws to snatch his kites out of the sky. But now that it was winter and the tree was quietly resting, he might just have a chance.
Charlie Brown looked up at the sky again as he unraveled the string. The sun was even brighter now.
“Some days you can just feel when everything is going to turn out all right,” he said.
Holding the reel at the end of the string, he faced the kite, which was still sticking out of the snowbank. Then he took a deep breath, turned, and ran as fast as he could.
“Liftoff!” he yelled.
The kite shot out of the snowbank. Charlie Brown looked behind him to see the kite dragging in the snow.
“Wait a minute . . . ,” he said, fumbling with the reel. He wrapped some string around it and the kite slowly lifted into the air. Then . . . whoosh! A gust of wind picked it up and sent it soaring.
“It’s in the air,” he said, barely believing it. “It’s flying!”
Holding the string, Charlie Brown raced to the top of a nearby hill. The kite soared above him on the breeze. Down below, he could see his friends playing hockey on the iced-over pond.
“Hey, guys! Look! Look! I did it!” he called down. But his friends were too busy with their hockey game to notice.
It didn’t matter. The smile on his face grew bigger and bigger. He was doing it!
Suddenly, he felt something yank on his feet. He looked down to see that the string had wrapped around his boots! He lost his balance and slipped, sliding down the hill. He landed on the frozen pond and slid across the ice on his belly like a seal. He finally came to a stop in front of his best friend, Linus.
Linus, still clutching his blanket, looked down at his friend.
“Hey, Charlie Brown. You still can’t get that kite to fly, huh?” he asked.
At that very moment a strong gust of wind blew. The kite smacked into the back of poor Charlie Brown’s head and then launched into the air, taking Charlie Brown along with it. Linus watched him go.
“Remember, it’s the courage to continue that counts!” he called after his friend.
The kite dragged Charlie Brown across the ice at superspeed. The hockey players had to quickly skate out of the way to avoid being hit by him. Charlie Brown managed to get to his feet, holding on tightly to the string. He tried to steer the kite toward the shore.
Up ahead, Lucy was doing figure-skating tricks on the ice, surrounded by a group of kids. She twirled around and then raced across the pond, building up speed.
“And now, for my famous Triple Axel!” she cried. “Prepare to be amazed.”
She hopped on her right foot, ready to leap. Then . . . wham! Charlie Brown crashed right into her! She twirled three times and landed on her butt as the kids clapped and cheered.
Charlie Brown kept going. He slid across the pond, headed right for a very big tree.
The kite got stuck in the tree, with Charlie Brown still tangled in the string. The string whipped around and around the tree with Charlie Brown still dangling from the end.
Whomp! An avalanche of snow fell from the branches above, revealing old pieces of kites wedged into the branches. When Charlie Brown finally stopped swinging around the tree, he was hanging upside down from one of the branches, next to his kite.
“Ugh,” Charlie Brown moaned. “Stupid Kite-Eating Tree!”
Lucy skated up to him, followed by the other kids. “You blockhead!” she yelled. “I should have known. What kind of a person tries to fly a kite in the middle of winter? You will never get that kite to fly. Why? Because you’re Charlie Brown!”