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Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems Hardcover – March 4, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Better flip to the back of the book (how appropriate!) if you want an explanation of what's going on here. Says the last page, "We read most poems down a page. But what if we read them up?" Calling such poems "reversos", Singer's concept is simple. Each poem is repeated. The one on the left is read down. Then Singer takes the same words, puts in some slightly different punctuation, and when each line is read backwards it tells an entirely new story. The stories in this book are fairy tales and Singer not only tells the tales frontwards and backwards but gives them new stories too.Read more ›
Each poem is readable frontwards and backwards, with each line acting as its own unit. (This means some of the lines are quite short, of course.)
And the front and the back version of each poem tells the fairy tale from a different perspective. My favorite? The Hansel and Gretel one:
Fatten up, boy!
like prime rib?
Then your hostess, she will roast you
Have another chocolate.
Eat another piece of gingerbread.
When you hold it out,
keep her waiting...
Keep her waiting.
when you hold it out.
Eat another piece of gingerbread,
Have another chocolate -
Then your hostess, she will roast you
like prime rib.
fatten up, boy!
Yes, you need this one for your personal library. I've enjoyed it myself as an adult without a child present but also anticipate using it with children in the future.
This one can be enjoyed for mere entertainment alone, but it has so many possible applications for teaching and learning, too. It's a "must own" for any school or public library. I haven't been this excited about a picture book in a while and will be shocked if this one isn't in high contention for a Caldecott and other honors over the coming year.
These illustrations are so brilliant that I'm contemplating buying a second copy of the book, removing the pages and framing them - they're that good. I'm just not sure I can myself to damage a book in that way. I've looked at some of Josee Masse's illustrations online and I really like her style, both for kids and adults.
Marilyn Singer's poems themselves are a mixed bag. The concept itself - creating a poem that can be read both forward and backward - is ingenious. Perhaps the best example is the one Ms. Singer presents on the last page - her own first attempt: "A cat/without/a chair:/Incomplete." vs. "Incomplete:/A chair/without/a cat." Although the words are the same, they present a different perspective or even a completely different meaning when read in reverse.
Applying this concept to fairy tales, in which there are often two different characters with different perspectives, is also brilliant. Some of the poems in this book are pitch-perfect.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I ordered this for my 7 and 9 year old granddaughters. They read through it once and could not be bothered with it again! Maybe it was just not their thing.Published 4 months ago by Michele L. Foster
I think my husband and I have more fun with this book than our kids. It is extremely clever and fun to read. Read morePublished 5 months ago by neeneroni
Love how these are the same words but used backwards to create a new poem from the original.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
my daughter loved it!! and they send a book marker so cute!!!Published 6 months ago by Fernandes Pacheco
One of the best poetry books for children or anyone for that matter.Published 8 months ago by Shelley W.
As soon as I read the first page of this book, I knew my language-loving, puzzle-loving seven year old son was going to adore it. And I was right. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Skye Kilaen
I used this with my fifth graders to teach point of view and they loved it!Published 10 months ago by Tina Swisher
Very unique and creative! I have never seen a book like it! My daughter was really happy to read and look at the beautiful illustrations!Published 12 months ago by K. Cockle