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Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems Hardcover – February 7, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This companion to Mirror Mirror (2010) offers another fairytale-themed collection of free verse poems, each paired with its “reverso,” or the poem in reverse. For example, “The Little Mermaid’s Choice” begins “For love, / give up your voice. / Don’t / think twice,” and the accompanying reverso poem concludes with “Think twice! / Don’t / give up your voice / for love.” The punctuation often changes, as does the formatting, thereby offering up intriguing and inventive takes on each tale. Other reversos give varying perspectives, as in the case of “Ready, Steady, Go!,” which presents both the tortoise’s and the hare’s points of view. Beautifully rendered, richly hued illustrations artfully transition from depicting the first poem’s scenario to the second’s, and interweave fantastic and realistic details. Though the poems are eloquent and witty, they may be somewhat esoteric for younger kids and will resonate more with those familiar with the classic stories. An appended author’s note, however, includes summaries of the tales and further explicates Singer’s finely crafted, unique form. An enjoyable collection that may prompt kids to write their own reverso poems. Grades 2-5. --Shelle Rosenfeld

Review

"Genius!" - Wired.com

“Singer and Masse’s companion to Mirror Mirror is just as inspired as its predecessor.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Fun, thoughtful, beautifully written poems that employ a poetic form called a reverso to spin a familiar fairy tale in a new direction.” – Shelf Awareness, starred review

"Singer’s poetry begs to be read aloud as listeners savor Masse’s accompanying illustrations. This is a must-have book for a library’s poetry section as well as for any personal collection." - Library Media Connection, starred review

"This volume is one to savor." – Kirkus Reviews

“Marilyn Singer's verse in Follow Follow practically dances down each page .  . . the effect is miraculous and pithy.” – The Wall Street Journal

"These are delightful to read and read aloud, and they’re a curricular dream for discussions of poetry, folklore, and point of view." – The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Masse’s two-sided illustrations capture the changes in point of view, tone, and color...Singer’s reversos present lyrical and evocative moments that will surprise and delight children and provide them with opportunities for critical discussion." – School Library Journal


Follow Follow is one of Booklist's 30 Best Books of the Year, a Cybils Award finalist, and an IRA Teachers’ Choices Reading List pick.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books (February 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803737696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803737693
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marilyn Singer was born in the Bronx (New York City) on October 3, 1948 and lived most of her early life in N. Massapequa (Long Island), NY. She attended Queens College, City University of New York, and for her junior year, Reading University, England. She holds a B.A. in English from Queens and an M.A. in Communications from New York University.

In 1974, after teaching English in New York City high schools for several years, she began to write - initially film notes, catalogues, teacher's guides, and film strips. Then, one day, when she was sitting in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, she penned a story featuring talking insect characters she'd made up when she was eight. Encouraged by the responses she got, she wrote more stories, and in 1976, her first book, The Dog Who Insisted He Wasn't, was published by E.P.Dutton & Co.

Since then, Marilyn has published over eighty books for children and young adults. Her genres are many and varied, including realistic novels, fantasies, non-fiction, fairy tales, picture books, mysteries and poetry. She likes writing many different kinds of books because it's challenging and it keeps her from getting bored.

Marilyn currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband Steve; their standard poodle Oggi, seen in the home page photo; a cat named August ; two collared doves named Jubilee and Holiday; and a starling that says, "Hi. How are you? Sweet Birdie. Okay!" Her interests include ballroom/Latin dancing, dog training, reading, hiking, bird-watching, gardening, playing computer adventure games, and going to the movies and the theatre. She's also a major Star Trek fan.

Marilyn is the former host of the AOL Children's Writers Chat and currently co-hosts the Poetry Blast at various conferences. Visit her web site: www.marilynsinger.net.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
The artwork is engaging and the poetry very clever indeed.
Barbara A. Bolek
Highly recommended for upper elementary, junior high and high school poetry/lit classes.
Lee Wardlaw
This book is the sequel to Marilyn Singer's Mirror Mirror book of the same style.
Elizabeth H

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Anne Heiner VINE VOICE on February 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer, one of my most anticipated new books of the year, was released last week. My copy arrived on Thursday and I have been reading it in savory bits since then, not wanting to read it all in one sitting although it can be done in just a few minutes. It's a picture book of short poetry, after all.

I'll admit, I was scared. I ADORE the companion title, Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse. When it was released three years ago, it lived in my living room for months, awaiting my next visitor (victim) to be shown its wondrous glory. (And books do not reside in my living room. I have a few book-free zones in the house to preserve sanity.) Well, my visitors were impressed, but it helps if you love fairy tales and poetry, or at least fairy tales. I love both and appreciate the careful wordsmithing that these books require. So does the new book live up to my hope and hype?

YES! It does. In fact, it may surpass it. I have favorites in the first book, and some lesser favorites that were not as strong for me. I would skip over those when sharing the book with my unsuspecting victims. With this new book, I won't be skipping any. Wherever the book may fall open, I will read and share. I would only choose favorites based on favorite fairy tales, not the poem itself, for each reverso is strong. Margaret Singer has perfected her invented form quite well.

From the book description:

"Read these clever poems from top to bottom and they mean one thing. Then reverse the lines and read from bottom to top and they mean something else - it is almost like magic!"

And usually this means that the reverse poem gives a different character's perspectives on the events of the tale.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barbara A. Bolek on June 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If I could talk to this author, I'd love to ask her....how do you have to think in order to write poetry like this? Author Marilyn Singer has created a new form of poetry which she calls reverso poems...and for good reason. You can read these poems from both up and down directions, and each reading of the poem provides a different meaning or perspective. I don't know how she does it, but it makes for some fascinating reading....even for the grandma who bought the book for her granddaughter. Follow, Follow and the first book Mirror, Mirror are enchanting. The poetry in Follow, Follow has fairy tale characters telling their side of the story. I showed my seven year old granddaughter how two poems were made from one. I told her I'd read one and then she can read the other. After the first one, she wanted to read them both on her own...she was hooked! The artwork is engaging and the poetry very clever indeed. I recommend these to anyone who wants to encourage a love of poetry in their young children.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'd probably only give this book three stars if I wasn't so impressed with the skill it takes to write a "reverso" poem. While I LOVED Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse, these poems lacked the unity of perspective and clarity of tale that the original offered, though I believe Josée Masse has taken her art to a new level. I found the title poem confusing at best and "Now It's Time to Say Goodnight" self-indulgent of the author, but I very much enjoyed "Ready, Steady, Go!" and "On With the Dance." I might try my hand at a "reverso" poem or two, but I don't expect to have the same skill as Singer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GO on July 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is the second book of “reverso” poems; the first was “Mirror Mirror.” A spin on classic fairytales read in the usual way and then in reverse from bottom to top. Again the colorful artwork added much more to the tales, engaging the reader effortlessly. I was hoping the wording would be less awkward this time around but no such luck. I think it is for older kids. It could use more levity too, in my opinion. One of my favorites was in reference to “The Three Little Pigs.” On the one side, the wolf plans on roasting a pig and on the other side, the pig plans on roasting the wolf when he comes down the chimney. Clever. My second favorite was about “Aladdin,” entitled “Your Wish Is My Command.”

A small portion: “Jinni of the Lamp, I am just a poor young knave. Give me all I crave. Wealth beyond measure—it is true freedom! This is what I demand.”

REVERSE VERSE: “This is what I demand: true freedom! It is wealth beyond measure. Give me all I crave, young knave. I am just a poor Jinni of the Lamp.”
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debra on March 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have never seen poems written this way before, but the format is very unique and interesting. I image it takes a long time to get this just right before it can be reversed and make since from the opposite point of view. I want to use this with my high school students as a writing assignment the next time we delve into poetry because it will also highlight how important word choice is in writing effectively. Bravo Marilyn for developing something so fun and unique.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James W Henninger on July 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard about this book on NPR and was intrigued. I am a high school librarian and ordered it for use by teachers to show how words (and punctuation!) can be manipulated even within strict limits to change meaning. Using the same words to illustrate 2 different points of view within a fairy tale was brilliant! Teachers were excited and I will be ordering several other copies for classrooms.
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