Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer

Marilyn Singer has created a special fairy tale world, one where up is down and down is up.  Each page features two poems, a special set Singer calls a reverso. As Singer explains “When you read a reverso down, it is one poem.  When you read it up…it is a different poem.”  With minor tweaks to punctuation, Singer creates a delightful pair, one that often presents two different perspectives. The poems are matched with split illustrations that show the two parts of the story.

This will be fun for adults and children alike.  Older children will be taken with the trick of making the poem mean something different through the reversal of the words.  The reverso is such a delightful puzzle, many budding young authors will want to attempt one of their own.

Great for: Bedtime reading.  This one may serve well to entertain a variety of audience members.  Your youngest listeners will enjoy the fairy-tales while the older ones are entranced by the clever writing.  This is also a great book for classroom inspiration during a poetry unit.

Sex, Nudity, Dating – A princess kisses a frog.  Beauty and the Beast are in love.
Profanity – None.
Death, Violence and Gore – A wolf thinks about eating a girl.  Snow White’s stepmother makes an appearance, and while no threat is clear from the text, one is certainly implied. A witch is fattening up a boy so she can roast him like prime rib.  A prince is armed with a sword.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – None.
Frightening or Intense Things – The giant in Jack and the Beanstalk is a little scary in the illustration.

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One Response to Mirror Mirror

  1. Beth says:

    My whole family (including me) loved this book. It won the Cybils poetry award, and was one of the few poetry books my boys wholeheartedly approved of.

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