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."
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.