Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems [NOOK Book]


With 6 starred reviews, 8 best of the year lists, and over 20 state award nominations, everyone is raving about Mirror Mirror!

"Remarkable."—The Washington Post

"This mind-bending poetry is accompanied by Masse's equally intelligent, equally amusing art."—Time Out New ...
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With 6 starred reviews, 8 best of the year lists, and over 20 state award nominations, everyone is raving about Mirror Mirror!

"Remarkable."—The Washington Post

"This mind-bending poetry is accompanied by Masse's equally intelligent, equally amusing art."—Time Out New York for Kids

What’s brewing when two favorites—poetry and fairy tales—are turned (literally) on their heads? It’s a revolutionary recipe: an infectious new genre of poetry and a lovably modern take on classic stories.

First, read the poems forward (how old-fashioned!), then reverse the lines and read again to give familiar tales, from Sleeping Beauty to that Charming Prince, a delicious new spin. Witty, irreverent, and warm, this gorgeously illustrated and utterly unique offering holds a mirror up to language and fairy tales, and renews the fun and magic of both.

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Editorial Reviews

Kristi Jemtegaard
Reading Mirror Mirror provides a jovial incentive to try writing a "reverso," a unique and intriguing form created by Marilyn Singer. In this intriguing collection, each poem is a highly abbreviated version of a traditional fairy tale—of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel—which turns the familiar into something surprising.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Singer uses “reverso” poems, a form of her creation, to show that there are two sides to every fairy tale (the poems can be read backward and forward). On each page, two poems appear, one an inversion of the other with minor changes in punctuation. In “In the Hood,” Little Red Riding Hood’s poem ends: “But a girl/ mustn’t dawdle./ After all, Grandma’s waiting,” while the wolf’s poem begins: “After all, Grandma’s waiting,/ mustn’t dawdle.../ But a girl!” Masse’s clever compositions play with symmetry (in “Longing for Beauty,” Beauty and the Beast appear as one being, split in half, her tresses echoing his fur), bringing this smart concept to its fullest effect. Ages 6–up. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—This appealing collection based on fairy tales is a marvel to read. It is particularly noteworthy because the poems are read in two ways: up and down. They are reverse images of themselves and work equally well in both directions. "Mirror Mirror" is chilling in that Snow White, who is looking after the Seven Dwarves, narrates the first poem of the pair. Read in reverse, it is the wicked queen who is enticing Snow White to eat the apple that will put her to sleep forever. "In the Hood" is as crafty as the wolf who tells of his delightful anticipation of eating Red Riding Hood. The mirrored poem is Red Riding Hood reminding herself not to dally since Grandma awaits. The vibrant artwork is painterly yet unfussy and offers hints to the characters who are narrating the poems. An endnote shows children how to create a "reverse" poem. 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
Kirkus Reviews
A collection of masterful fairy-tale-inspired reversos-a poetic form invented by the author, in which each poem is presented forward and backward. Although the words are identical in each presentation, changes in punctuation, line breaks and capitalization create two pieces that tell completely different stories. "In the Hood," for instance, first presents Red Riding Hood's perspective: "In my hood, / skipping through the wood, / carrying a basket, picking berries to eat- / juicy and sweet / what a treat! / But a girl / mustn't dawdle. / After all, Grandma's waiting." Reversed, we hear from the wolf: "After all, Grandma's waiting / mustn't dawdle... / But a girl! / What a treat- / juicy and sweet / picking berries to eat, / carrying a basket, / skipping through the wood / in my 'hood." Masse's gorgeous, stylized illustrations enhance the themes of duality and perspective by presenting images and landscapes that morph in delightful ways from one side of the page to the other. A mesmerizing and seamless celebration of language, imagery and perspective. (note on the form) (Poetry. 8-12)
A must-purchase that will have readers marveling over a visual and verbal feast.
Horn Book
The poems are both cleverly constructed and insightful giving us the points of view of characters rarely considered.
From the Publisher
"A mesmerizing and seamless celebration of language, imagery and perspective." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Masse’s clever compositions play with symmetry, bringing this smart concept to its fullest effect." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Cleverly constructed and insightful."—The Horn Book, starred review

"Truly a visual, as well as a literary, puzzle and such a treat!" —Library Media Connection, 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

With 6 starred reviews, 8 best of the year lists, and over 20 state award nominations, everyone is raving about Mirror Mirror!

Mirror Mirror is an ALA Notable Book, a New York Public Library Best 100 Children's Book of the Year, a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Editors Choice, a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year, a Washington Post Top 15 Children’s Book of the Year, a Horn Book Fanfare Book, a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year, a Land of Enchantment Book Award Winner, and one of Time Out New York Kids' 50 Best Books for Kids.

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Singer has created a form of poetry called the reverso. Read traditionally down one side of a page, it tells one story. Read in reverse, with only punctuation and capitalization change allowed, it can tell a very different one, "...particularly for telling two sides of one story." The topic here is fairy tales. The verse is free, the words chosen cleverly and carefully to evoke emotion in the telling. Some contrasting tales work better than others, but all are thought provoking as we admire the craft in the creation. Stories told in contrasting verses include "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty" and her prince, "Rapunzel," "The Frog Prince," and "Beauty and the Beast," among others. The split poem occupies one page. On the opposite page is a split picture with one major character opposing another, each in a setting with appropriate content. Characters and content painted in a flat decorative style tell the visual tales in ways that add romantic humor to the verses. Trying to write this kind of poem could be a real challenge to young readers. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101648445
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 3/4/2010
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 306,615
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: NPL (what's this?)
  • File size: 12 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 24, 2010

    Mirror/Mirror is a must-have for fans of fairy tales and/or poetry

    I had to buy it, you see, because I read the first three poems in the book ("In Reverse", "Cinderella's Double Life", and "The Sleeping Beauty and the Wide-Awake Prince"), plus at least one or two more from the middle, and I was so impressed by what Marilyn Singer pulled off that I simply had to shell out the $16.99 (plus tax) for the book in recognition of her accomplishment.

    Singer has invented a form she calls the "reverso". As she explains in her note about the form at the end of the book, the first reverso she created was inspired by her cat. Singer went on to write a whole bunch of brilliant reversos based on fairy tales. What makes these poems brilliant is that they make perfect sense forwards and backwards - and they each tell two sides of the same story. They are all considerably longer than Singer's sample, and all of them are accompanied by outstanding illustrations by Josée Masse, a Canadian illustrator from Montreal, many of which tend to show the duality of the accompanying poems. From start to finish, from art to text, this book is the total package, and is a work of genius. A must-have for fans of poetry, great art and/or fairy tales.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    Clever poetry

    The writing is undeniably clever, and although some of the reversed poems don't quite work as well as others, it was enjoyable. If I could give it 3 1/2 stars, I would. I think it would go right over the heads of younger children, but older kids (perhaps 9 and up) would catch on quickly. My favorites were "The Sleeping Beauty and the Wide-Awake Prince" and "In The Hood."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    Fun and Fanciful

    The poems in this book turn classic fairy tales upside down. The poems themselves are wonderful either way they are read, but the reader or listener will find themselves trying to construct their own poems that can be read both forward and backward. Tons of fun!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great way of introducing poetry through fairytales with lovely artwork!

    <i>Mirror Mirror has won the 2010 Cybils Award in the Poetry division. The winners are chosen because they "combined literary merit with kid appeal."</i>

    I actually purchased Mirror Mirror sometime last year because it combined interesting poetry techniques with fairytales. The first few entries were so witty, I had to go home and read the rest.

    At the end of the book, Marilyn Singer states, "We read most poems down a page. But what if we read them up? That's the question I asked myself when I created the reverso. When you read a reverso down, it is one poem. When you read it up, with changes allowed only in punctuation and capitalization it is a different poem."

    One of the things I loved in this picture book is that some of the poems feature the "hero/heroine" on one side and the "villain" on the other. It's amazing to see how different the same words/opinions come off.

    From classic tales such as Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella to beloved stories such as Hansel and Gretel and Jack and the Beanstalk, there are reversible poem stories for everyone. While the poetry doesn't hold up as anything special on its own, the charm comes when reading the poems side-by side. The book is further enhanced by the lovely illustrations created by Josée Masse. Each image splits down the middle in a fashion that never looks choppy, but eye-catching and fun. One example of a "split" can be seen in the above cover image.

    Overall, this was a fun picturebook discovery that I really enjoy reading. I was really happy it won in its category for the Cybils Award!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2013

    I love this book! I checked this book out from the library the f

    I love this book! I checked this book out from the library the first week it came in, and I had to order a copy for myself. This is a great book for anyone who likes poetry, fairy-tale and beautiful illustrations (who doesn't?), and a must-have for anyone who likes all three.
    The poems offer a succinct summation to common fairy-tales, and from two different points of view. I won't even pretend that my toddler son understands this book, although he will sit still to listen to poetry, but I love how it stretches my &quot;mommy-brain&quot; and forces me to respect the subtleties of good punctuation -- something I have obviously let slide. Any cure for &quot;mommy-brain&quot; is a very good thing. And this book has inspired my new favorite form of poetry: The Reverso. It is pretty hard to write, so Marilyn Singer has a good deal of my respect.
    As I am a visual person, I will have to mention the illustrations, which are clever, vibrant and beautiful. My favorite is probably the one for Little Red Riding Hood. You'll have to check out this book from your library, or better yet, buy it to see it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2011

    great book to read to younger ones

    this book is really interesting cute and fun! it would be a great book to read to kinder- 2nd in school. I really recommend this book and I think you should read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 5, 2013

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    Posted October 16, 2011

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    Posted February 12, 2012

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    Posted August 31, 2010

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