“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse • Poetry Picture Book

Mirror Mirror:  A Book of Reversible Verse
by Marilyn Singer  illustrated by Josee Masse
Just out!  Dutton Children's Books Ages 6 and up
In this truly unique collection of reversible verse, classic fairy tales are turned on their heads!
Story:  There are two sides to every story, from the princess and the frog, to the beauty and the beast, to Sleeping Beauty and that charming prince.  Marilyn Singer turns classic fairy tales on their heads.  Literally.  Here's an example of how it works -- read these clever little poems from top to bottom.

Down --
A poem in 
a puzzle

Then reverse the lines and read from bottom to top

A puzzle
a poem --
or Up

Now imagine reversible poems written about fairy tales showing different characters' take on the story.  Witty and irreverent, this unique collection holds a cheeky mirror up to language and fairy tales, and renews the magic of both. 

Story behind the story: Once upon a time, Marilyn Singer wrote a poem that could be read both up and down so that it would have different meanings in each direction.  Then she challenged herself to a game -- could she write more poems like it?  Indeed she could!  Singer calls these poems "reversos."

"This book is a sheer delight in every way.....Josee’ Masse’s equally clever illustrations add delightful visual clues for the reader as well. Share this book with kids and challenge them to try writing their own reversible verse. Singer used familiar fairy tales as her subject but the range of topics is wide open. Irresistible!" -- Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan,BookEnds blog, Booklist

★ "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, School Library Journal

★ "Ingenious.... 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. — Patricia Austin, Booklist

Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Spring 2010 Kids' Next List

“Each two-page spread of Mirror Mirror features poetry created by word reversal, all accompanied by beautiful illustrations. This is absolutely the most inventive children's book that I have seen in ages, and a wonderful way to make poetry interesting to everyone!”-- Andi Allen, Piece of Mind Books, Edwardsville, IL

“A poetry book innovative enough to get kids to try writing their own versions. Each of the fairy tale poems in this book are presented vertically, then flipped on the page. When you read them first up and then down, the meaning of each poem is changed. It is so amazing, you just need to read one for yourself. Have fun!”
-- Katherine Fergason, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA

FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent; please check back on the "comments" link to read what your colleagues have to say.


Carrie said...

I tried ordering my copy of "Mirror, Mirror" but the email keeps coming back as undeliverable. I have made several attempts. I will keep trying.

Carrie Blagg

W. Stangel said...

I'm having the same problem. My request for a reviewer's copy keeps coming back as undeliverable.

Pamela Kramer said...

I tried, also, and the email was returned...let's hope we get copies when it is fixed.


deltay said...

For those of you who are having trouble with the e-mail link, it's because there's a typo. As is, the [mail server] is trying to send it to: rachel.moore@us.penguinggroup.com

There's a typo with the double 'g' - correct e-mail address would be rachel.moore@us.penguingroup.com

Hope that helps :)

Deborah Sloan said...

Thanks to all of you for pointing out the typo in the "order your reviewer's copy now" link. All fixed now...

Mrs. Horne said...

I also submitted a request and the email said "Undeliverable."

I would love to review this - it looks fascinating!

Lindsay Horne

Peaceful Reader said...

I had the same problem twice and am sad because this looks like such an excellent book!

Jeanette Larson said...

What a fun and novel concept! Use this book to incorporate poetry into lessons or programs with fractured fairy tales. I love the reversos--poems that have a different meaning when read in reverse.

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