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Mirror Hardcover


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Mirror + Home (Horn Book Fanfare List (Awards)) + Window
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Bilingual edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763648485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763648480
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 4—In Window (1991) and Home (2004, both Greenwillow), Baker combined a concept, her signature collages, and a wordless format to underscore environmental issues. Mirror illuminates the common humanity beneath the surface of cultural differences. In a clever design, two sets of bound signatures face one another, the gatherings reversed from their normal location inside the spine; readers manipulate the two openings simultaneously. In parallel narratives, two boys awaken in the moonlight, accompany their fathers on an errand, and return home. In the story on the left, the destination is a hardware emporium in Sydney, Australia. Materials for an indoor fireplace are purchased and put in a van. The right side occurs in Morocco. Father and son mount a donkey and travel a long distance to sell a hand-woven rug and buy a computer at the market. After a family dinner, they turn it on and the Australians settle onto a fireside carpet matching the one in the other story. The size, shape, and number of the panels in one story are reflected in the other, a choice that assists with comparison. English and Arabic paragraphs introduce the visual narratives. A diagram indicates the right-to-left orientation of the Moroccan story. Baker's skill in orchestrating fabric, vegetation, clay, and other materials into scenes with the proper scale and convincing depth is a wonder to behold. The author's notes hint at her purpose and process. A fresh take on a timely and timeless message.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This quiet, inventive, mostly wordless picture book follows two boys on opposite sides of the world through a single day, highlighting the differences and universalities in their lives. Meant to be read simultaneously, the stories appear side by side as separate mini-books bound within the same covers, while brief, introductory lines of text in English and Arabic introduce the boys, one in urban Australia and one in rural Morocco. The wordless accounts begin in strict parallel, with pages subdivided into symmetrical scenes of each boy�s family life, from breakfast to daytime excursions and finally to supper. Baker allows her stories to unfold naturally, and the cultural connections never feel forced; the boys investigate a curiosity at the market or remember a younger sibling, each in his own way. That sense of verisimilitude gives a depth to the simple, common experiences, which resonate across pages and cultures. In disparate, detailed landscapes rendered in her trademark style of three-dimensional, mixed-media collage, Baker creates a moving reminder of what we all share. Preschool-Grade 3. --Thom Barthelmess

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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This one certainly fit the bill.
P. Heaphy
In Mirror, Australian author, Jeannie Baker, tells two wordless stories simultaneously, one in Australia and one in Morocco, in a double fold-out format.
Catherine W. Hughes
Both adults and children will be enthralled with this book.
J. Carrington

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By SeaShell on January 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've become something of a wordless book junkie. I bring tons of them home for the kids and, as with other books, some hit the mark and some miss it. This one hit, but just barely.

Here's what we liked about it: The way the two stories, a life in Australia and a life in Morocco are presented, side-by-side with a similar story line, was ingenious. I love that the Moroccan story works right-to-left, just as it would were it written in Arabic, and the Australian story works left-to-right as in English. The illustrations are beautiful, and the story told through the pictures is an interesting one, to be sure.

Now my reservations: For my child, who is 4, the story line was a bit difficult to follow. It could have been the difficulty of following 2 story lines at once (he was similarly confused by Black and White, which has 4 concurrent story lines), or just the foreigness of the Moroccan story, or maybe the real issue was me and my desire for him to see the story as the author intended. At any rate, I found myself telling him the story to a greater extent than I normally do with wordless picture books. And maybe it is for that reason that he seemed far less interested in this book than he has been in his favorite wordless picture books. If you are using the book as a tool to help develop a child's storytelling skills, this may not be the best one out there. But as a way to learn a bit about the similarities and differences between two very different cultures, it is terrific!

ETA: A quick update - I've since read this book with older brother, who is almost 7. He was just the perfect age for it! He was able to follow the two stories simultaneously, and compare the pictures on each side of the page.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on November 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
An urban household in Australia wakes up to a new day and gets ready for the usual activities of work and play. A different rural household in Morocco, a country in northern Africa, also engages in their daily rituals to get ready for the new day. The activities of both families involve traveling to work, buying and selling items in the marketplace, and relaxing together at night. But the settings in which these activities occur differ markedly, with a car-ride through congested highways to reach the hardware superstore in Australia, and a donkey-ride through the barren landscape to reach the distant outdoor market in Morocco.

Mirror uses contrasting side-by-side visual images to highlight differences in economic development and social norms in an Australian city and a remote Moroccan village. Making the book unique is the use of Arabic as well as English to communicate the narrative, as well as a stunning display of collages made with materials such as sand, clay, fabric, and tin. This sophisticated art work stands on its own to communicate an important lesson about differences and commonalities across countries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Catherine W. Hughes on January 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In Mirror, Australian author, Jeannie Baker, tells two wordless stories simultaneously, one in Australia and one in Morocco, in a double fold-out format. Like a mirror through time, the Moroccan boy's mother weaves a rug, while the Australian family takes it home from the "Magic Carpet Store." With beautiful collage artwork, the author-illustrator explores the difference between stranger and friend. This is a thought-provoking picture book for older children, ages 6-9, encouraging them to explore similarities and differences found around the world.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a beautiful children's book! I appreciate the creative design of the book, the concept (showing 2 children's lives on different sides of the world side by side), and the BEAUTIFUL illustrations. I appreciate how much it says without words. I've seen 1000s of children's book, and this is a great one!
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By me on August 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a school librarian who was looking for a book similar to "A Country Far Away" from Nigel Gray that showed the differences between 2 cultures and which I truly love.
I was quite disappointed with this book mainly because it was quite awkward to read aloud. Having to hold both side of the book open while reading it to children is quite cumbersome and while I understand what was going on, quite often I had to explain it to the children as they looked at it. Maybe if it was just an individual reading it for themselves that would not be a problem but for a teacher....
I am sure that many people liked the illustrations the way they were done with fabric and such but to me they weren't that great.
All in all, not recommended for a classroom setting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Happy librarian - needed book found here! Hope the teachers and students are happy with them, too! The only downside is that I must catalogue them myself, but it is worth the time and effort to be able to get materials not available elsewhere at these prices!
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By Bronwyn O'Rawe on May 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It took a little time to get into the swing of turning the pages together. It is a lovely way of exposing the similarities between cultures making their differences less "scary".
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By Chetna on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so beautiful!
I am an adult but I bought it for myself.
It gives me so much joy to look into it!
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