Robert Bender Toads and Diamonds

ISBN 13: 9780525675099

Toads and Diamonds

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9780525675099: Toads and Diamonds

In a retelling of a classic Perrault fairy tale, Merth is slave to her cruel mother and sister but receives a marvelous talent from an unusual creature, while her greedy sister receives her own reward. By the author-illustrator of.

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From School Library Journal:

PreSchool-Grade 3?Striking illustrations highlight this retelling of Perrault's "The Fairies." Asphalta is a "nasty widow" with a daughter, Bleacha, who is just as awful. Merth, Bleacha's kind sister, does all the work. While fetching water, she stops to help a three-headed troll, and she is handsomely rewarded: every time the girl sings, jewels spring from her mouth. When Asphalta learns of this, she sends her other daughter out to the well, but the rude girl refuses to help the troll. Her reward, then, is to have "slimy toads, vipers, and insects" drop from her mouth whenever she speaks. In this new version, Merth ends up living like a queen because of her riches and her goodness; Perrault has her marry a prince. The three-headed troll replaces the old woman/fairy of the original tale. Bender's retelling is serviceable, but readers will be drawn to this book by his delightfully unusual illustrations. He uses acetate and animator's paint to create a luminous atmosphere, deftly blending darkness and vivid color. He exaggerates the figures, giving the two mean women ridiculously long upturned noses, and manages to make them both hideous and funny at the same time. We only see the heads of the magic troll; they, too, are grossly amusing. Bender's eye-catching style and technique neatly match the tale's humor.?Steven Engelfried, West Linn Public Library, OR
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

For this retelling of Perrault's 1697 "The Fairies," Bender again uses the striking paint-on-acetate medium he pioneered in A Little Witch Magic. But this time his unshapely pictures and narrative share a murky quality. The widow Asphalta inhabits a dreary wood with her two daughters, "kind and generous" Merth and Bleacha ("a chip off her mother's horrible block"). One night, Merth trips over a three-headed troll and, although she's frightened, she gives him the help he asks for. By way of thanks, he enchants her so that every time she sings, diamonds and other gems pop from her mouth. When Bleacha encounters the same troll, she curses it; "slimy toads, vipers, and insects" thereafter drip from her gullet. The watch-your-language subtext comes across, but Bender's prose needs polish. The artwork is at times dreamlike, as when a precious stone glows orange inside Merth's yellow skirt-pocket, but the predominant hues here are mud-brown and damp-looking algae-green. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Robert Bender
Published by Dutton Juvenile (1995)
ISBN 10: 0525675094 ISBN 13: 9780525675099
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Bender, Robert
Published by Dutton Juvenile
ISBN 10: 0525675094 ISBN 13: 9780525675099
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