diamonds and toads~ gordon laite

I’ve always heard of this story as “diamonds and toads,” instead of the other way around. it’s the familiar poor girl with mean stepmother/stepsister scenario.

i think you can guess who’s who from this scene. i love her think black wavy hair and the expression of her face is some of Gordon Laite’s best work. The fabulous 16th century tudor outfits aren’t usually seen in many fairy tales. 
and old ragged beggar {with the most righteous beggar’s rags i’ve ever seen!} asks for a drink of water. Our lovely heroine obliges and wouldn’t you know it, the beggar’s actually a fairy. Gifts are given.
The mean sister decides she wants some of that action and waits by the fountain. A beautiful lady appears and asks for a drink of water. The haughty sister, expecting the beggar woman at any moment, tells the lady to get bent. Bad move! Fairies aren’t stupid. She wasn’t going to wear the same disguise twice. Sheesh. Oh and by the way, she “gifts” the mean sister with snakes and toads falling out of her mouth with every word. Nice.
I would like to say, i think the fairy’s outfit is one of the most beautiful i’ve seen. This time period can be hard to reproduce without making the ladies look like lovely boxes, but Mr. Laite translates the styles wonderfully.

The nice daughter gets picked up by a smart prince who not only figured out she was lovely under her dirty house dress, but also realized she had, you know, diamonds and other precious stones falling out of her mouth. Good for you pal. I just sincerely hope he’s not Henry the VIII bc diamonds or no, if a son doesn’t fall out of her, she’s finished.
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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Tammy says:

    Where is this exact story with these exact illustrations found ?? I grew up with this version.

    1. They were originally in A Little Golden Book, the Blue Book of Fairy Tales. They were then reprinted in the 90s as “My Little Golden Book of Fairy Tales.” And they’ve just been reprinted again as “The Blue Book of Fairy Tales,” so they should be pretty easy to find. Good luck 😀

  2. Tammy says:

    Thank you!!!!! 🙂

  3. Tammy says:

    Ps, cool blog !

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have looked in every stack of golden books I find for this book! the illustrations are unforgettable , I had one as a child . I hope I can find one now that I have this info,Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome! Golden Books has republished it, so it’s very easy to find now 😀

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