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Mirror mirror : a book of reversible verse

by Marilyn Singer


Reviews

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Singer uses "reverso" poems, a form of her creation, to show that there are two sides to every fairy tale (the poems can be read backward and forward). On each page, two poems appear, one an inversion of the other with minor changes in punctuation. In "In the Hood," Little Red Riding Hood's poem ends: "But a girl/ mustn't dawdle./ After all, Grandma's waiting," while the wolf's poem begins: "After all, Grandma's waiting,/ mustn't dawdle.../ But a girl!" Masse's clever compositions play with symmetry (in "Longing for Beauty," Beauty and the Beast appear as one being, split in half, her tresses echoing his fur), bringing this smart concept to its fullest effect. Ages 6-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* This ingenious book of reversos, or poems which have one meaning when read down the page and perhaps an altogether different meaning when read up the page, toys with and reinvents oh-so-familiar stories and characters, from Cinderella to the Ugly Duckling. The five opening lines of the Goldilocks reverso read: Asleep in cub's bed / Blonde / startled by / Bears, / the headline read. Running down the page side-by-side with this poem is a second, which ends with: Next day / the headline read: / Bears startled / by blonde / asleep in cub's bed. The 14 pairs of poems easily distinguished by different fonts and background colors allow changes only in punctuation, capitalization, and line breaks, as Singer explains in an author's note about her invented poetic form. It is a form that is both challenging and fun rather like creating and solving a puzzle. Singer also issues an invitation for readers to try to write their own reversos on any topic. Matching the cleverness of the text, Masse's deep-hued paintings create split images that reflect the twisted meaning of the irreverently witty poems and brilliantly employ artistic elements of form and shape Cinderella's clock on one side morphs to the moon on the other. A must-purchase that will have readers marveling over a visual and verbal feast.--Austin, Patricia Copyright 2010 Booklist


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 3-6-This appealing collection based on fairy tales is a marvel to read. It is particularly noteworthy because the poems are read in two ways: up and down. They are reverse images of themselves and work equally well in both directions. "Mirror Mirror" is chilling in that Snow White, who is looking after the Seven Dwarves, narrates the first poem of the pair. Read in reverse, it is the wicked queen who is enticing Snow White to eat the apple that will put her to sleep forever. "In the Hood" is as crafty as the wolf who tells of his delightful anticipation of eating Red Riding Hood. The mirrored poem is Red Riding Hood reminding herself not to dally since Grandma awaits. The vibrant artwork is painterly yet unfussy and offers hints to the characters who are narrating the poems. An endnote shows children how to create a "reverse" poem. This is a remarkably clever and versatile book that would work in any poetry or fairy-tale unit. A must-have for any library.-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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