Fiction Heather Tomlinson Toads and Diamonds

ISBN 13: 9780805089684

Toads and Diamonds

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9780805089684: Toads and Diamonds

Diribani has come to the village well to get water for her family's scant meal of curry and rice. She never expected to meet a goddess there. Yet she is granted a remarkable gift: Flowers and precious jewels drop from her lips whenever she speaks.

It seems only right to Tana that the goddess judged her kind, lovely stepsister worthy of such riches. And when she encounters the goddess, she is not surprised to find herself speaking snakes and toads as a reward.

Blessings and curses are never so clear as they might seem, however. Diribani's newfound wealth brings her a prince?and an attempt on her life. Tana is chased out of the village because the province's governor fears snakes, yet thousands are dying of a plague spread by rats. As the sisters' fates hang in the balance, each struggles to understand her gift. Will it bring her wisdom, good fortune, love . . . or death?
Toads and Diamonds is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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From the Author:

For me, the urge to retell a classic fairy tale always starts with a loose end. Something about the original tale irritates or puzzles me, sparking questions that will help flesh out the bare bones of character,setting, and action into a novel-length work. Toads and Diamonds sprang from a pet peeve: in fairy tales, big sisters (especially stepsisters) are always ugly, rude, and unkind, if not downright wicked. With rare exceptions, sisters don't get along, and it's always the oldest one's fault. This did not match my own life experience. (Admittedly,my younger sister might have a different perspective on our childhood conflicts.)
 
While jealous sisters inhabit stories like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, Toads and Diamonds bothered me the most. After meeting a fairy at a well, the older sister dies miserably in the forest with her toads and snakes; the younger sister marries a prince and happily spouts jewels and flowers for the rest of her days.
 
But what if the two gifts were equally valuable--and equally dangerous? What if the fairy hadn't come to punish or reward, but to help both girls learn and grow? What if the sisters could rely on each other for help? To find out how such a story would end, I had to write the book. 

About the Author:

Heather Tomlinson has taught English in Paris and French in the U.S. She lives on a houseboat in southern California with her engineer husband , her baby boy, and cats X, Y, and Z.

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Book Description Henry Holt & Co., New York, NY, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Diribani comes to the village well to get water for her family's scant meal of curry and rice. She never expected to meet a goddess there. Yet she is granted a remarkable gift: Flowers and precious jewels drop from her lips whenever she speaks. Tana thinks it only right that her stepsister be judged as kind and worthy of such riches. When Tana encounters the goddess she is not surprised to find herself speaking snakes and toads as a reward. Blessings and curses are never so clear as they seem. As thousands die from a plague spread by rats, the sisters' fates hang in the balance, and each struggles to understand her gift. Willit bring her wisdom, good fortune, love. . . Or death? Green binding with gold lettering.; 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 004062

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