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Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems (Reverso Poems)

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4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  3,483 Ratings  ·  694 Reviews
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 deliciou ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 4th 2010 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
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City Dog, Country Frog by Mo WillemsA Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. SteadChalk by Bill ThomsonArt & Max by David WiesnerBink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo
2011 Caldecott Hopefuls
6th out of 74 books — 144 voters
Chalk by Bill ThomsonFetch by Adam Glendon SidwellMirror Mirror by Marilyn SingerA Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. SteadArt & Max by David Wiesner
2011 Mock Caldecott
3rd out of 15 books — 34 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Betsy
May 04, 2010 Betsy rated it really liked it
I like to think that the world of children's literature has gained a bit more respect in the last decade or so. Folks notice it and reference it more often. And as sales continue to be good and scholars take note of it more often, its sub-genres proliferate and gain acceptance. Graphic novelists of children's fare increase. Non-fiction writers for kids demand more attention. And then there are the poets. Poets like Marilyn Singer who has been doing good steady work for years and years. I'm looki ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jan 29, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fairy tale lovers and those who are not wild about them too; fans of unusual poetry
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn & Ceridwen & Chandra
These reverso poems (read the same going down as going up) are clever. They don’t always work 100% but they work well enough and they’re very impressive given how hard they are to write/construct. They’re fiendishly difficult to write; I can tell. The ones I liked best were the ones that specifically gave the perspectives of two different characters depending on whether they were read up or down.

All the fairy tales included are favorites from my childhood, and I also like the author’s first ever
...more
Kathryn
This book is so much fun for word-lovers! Singer's poetry takes the form of reversos--a poem that reads one way down but takes on a new meaning when read "up" (reversed, with changes in punctuation and capitalization). As Singer notes in her Author's Note, this is especially effective in telling two sides of one story.

Here, the stories presented are fairy tales. I really enjoyed the selection but felt that some of the poems were more successful than others. In a few cases, it just seemed too awk
...more
N_hannahkang
Nov 17, 2010 N_hannahkang rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
The idea is clever but I wished there was more depth or discussion to these fairy tale poems. The concept is interesting - Singer attempts to shed light in the well-known fairy tales by exposing both sides of the story through reversible verse. Singer writes the traditional version of the story and then rewrites the same words from bottom to top. I understand that she is limited in her words since the verse has to make sense top to bottom and then bottom to top, but some of the fairy tales told ...more
Luann
Jun 26, 2012 Luann rated it liked it
Recommended to Luann by: Chandra
I didn't enjoy these poems as much as I thought I would. The idea behind them is very clever, and I can see that Marilyn Singer has a real talent for writing them. I love the idea of having two poems that use the same lines in reverse order yet have a completely different meaning. The part I didn't like is that many of the poems feel choppy and vague. I had to reread some of them to catch the meaning - especially of the "mirror" poems. Sometimes it was hard to get the meaning of the first poem o ...more
Jessica
Oct 08, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it
The thing that I love about reading and all the arts in general is that even though that particular art form has been around for hundreds or thousands of years, the well of creativity does not run dry. Marilyn Singer has created the reverso, a poem that reads backwards and forwards and composed a book about fairy tales. Here's an example:

Isn't life unfair?
Stuck in a corner,
while they're waiting for a chance
with the prince,
dancing waltz after waltz
at the ball,
I'll be shining
these shoes
till the cl
...more
Karen
Jul 07, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom
Ellie really enjoyed listening to the audio while looking at the book, Jake...not so much..krb 7/1/16
Dolly
Apr 22, 2010 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fabulous book of "reverso" poems with a fairy tale theme. Each poem is presented one way and then again in reverse, often with a tremendous twist in meaning. It's a fascinating work of wordsmithing and artistry, but I'm not sure our girls are quite ready for it. I certainly enjoyed it, however. I was impressed with how difficult it must be to craft a poem such as this, and I am in awe of Marilyn Singer's ability to create a new kind of poetry. The illustrations are quite nice as well.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Very clever! Marilyn Singer has created a new verse form, the "reverso," in which a poem can be read from top to bottom with one meaning, and from bottom to top with another meaning. Only punctuation can be changed. These poems are based on fairy tales. Each pair of poems express 2 different viewpoints from the same fairy tale. Not easy to write, but fun to read! Recommended--I must try it!
Karin
May 04, 2014 Karin rated it really liked it
“There are two sides to every story.”
Mirror, Mirror
is the fairy tale book
full of reversible verse
with fairy tale pictures
for very young kids
but mostly
for adults who actually understand these
though they are similar,
These are not true palindromes.

These are not true palindromes
though they are similar
for adults who actually understand these
but mostly
for very young kids
with fairy tale pictures
full of reversible verse
is the fairy tale book
Mirror, Mirror
“There are two sides to every story.”

This was a d
...more
Nicole
Sep 30, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: rll-538
A twist on classic fairy tales? I am in! Mirror Mirror is a series of reverso poems talking about many of the fables we have been told as kids. A reverso poem is one that is broken into different lines, and can be read top to bottom or bottom to top, changing the meaning of the poem in the process. The different poems cover bedtime favorites, like The Princess and the Frog, Rumpelstiltskin, and my favorite sets of poems, Beauty and the Beast and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The theme that t ...more
Merle
Mar 20, 2016 Merle rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer
Grade level: K-2
Genre: Poetry


Mirror Mirror is a collection of poems that are based on well-known fairy tales. The poems are called, Reverso Poems, because they can be read backwards and forward; with only a slight change in punctuation. When the poem is read backwards, it has a new meaning. Children will love the vibrant illustrations. The characters facial expressions are strong and can be used for making inferences; such as, how does Goldilocks feel, and how do y
...more
Amanda
Oct 07, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
What happens when you flip a poem about a fairytale upside down? You get a whole different story – in reverse!

The recipient of multiple starred reviews (Kirkus, Horn Book, Publisher’s Weekly) and awards (ALAN 2012, Horn Book 2010), Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer is a visual and auditory treat. Each of the 14 self-proclaimed “reverso” poems – verse which is first written forwards, then backwards – tell contrasting sides of classic stories. For example, in the title po
...more
Brandi
Jul 19, 2012 Brandi rated it really liked it
Mirror Mirror is an exceptionally clever book that will get students looking at poetry in a new way. This book is filled with a style of poems that the author has dubbed “reverso.” Typically poems are read top to bottom, but Marilyn Singer asked herself what would happen if they were read bottom to top. This book is the result of that inquiry. The only thing she allowed herself to alter is capitalization and punctuation. Here is a short example from the book:
It may be such
a fairy-take secret,
th
...more
L12_sarah
Mar 04, 2012 L12_sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, poetry
Mirror Mirror is one of the most interesting poetry books I have ever seen! The overall concept of the book is to include poems about various characters from fairy tales, and then give them in reverse. These reverso poems take the exact same words from the original poem being read top to bottom and reverses the order they are said, essentially reading the poem from the bottom to the top. I did not fully understand what the book was doing until I read the author's note at the end that explain ...more
Ashley
Jul 18, 2013 Ashley rated it really liked it
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse is a book of reverso poetry. Each poem, which has a fairy tale theme, is presented one way, then it is reversed. The poem uses the exact same words written forward and backward (with small changes in punctuation), yet each poem provides a different point of view.

I found this type of poetry to be extremely creative and appealing. It definitely takes skill to craft these poems. My only hesitation with reading this book to children would be that the techni
...more
538AM_Randi
Oct 08, 2013 538AM_Randi rated it really liked it
Who knew poems could make sense if you read the backwards? Since when did some of the beloved fairy tales have a slightly darker side? In Marilyn Singer's "Mirror, Mirror" readers can explore Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and many more classic stories both forwards...and backwards. Check out this book for a new perspective on some of your old favorites!
The themes shift depending on the fairy tale of focus, but it could be used in a unit about poetry, word placement, or really for spicing up any Eng
...more
Abby
May 29, 2011 Abby rated it liked it
A "reversible verse" is a poem that becomes a new poem when the lines are read from the bottom up. The poems in "Mirror Mirror" are all based on well-known fairy tales, and by flipping the poem upside down, the reader gets a new perspective on the story.
The concept of the reversible verse is very clever, and some of the poems in this book are very clever as well. I liked the poems about Cinderella, Goldilocks, and Hansel and Gretel; they were well executed. But some poems didn't work very well.
...more
William Doran
May 02, 2016 William Doran rated it liked it
Shelves: rll538
In a series of poems, Mirror Mirror gives short retellings of classic fairy tales. The twist is that each story is told from two perspectives, rather than just from the traditional hero of the story. The book has clever language, but the reader needs to be familiar with the stories to understand all of the references. It can be a little trite, but could make a great jumping-off point to talk about how different perspectives could change the reading of a story.
Kelsey
Oct 05, 2013 Kelsey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: k-3
Mirror Mirror, by Marilyn Singer, is a book of poems that puts a unique twist on the fairytales children know and love. Each poem has two parts to show the stories from the point-of-view of the different characters or objects in the fairytales. The most interesting characteristic of the book is that the poems that show the two different view points, use the same words! One can tell that this collection of poems were well thought out. I really enjoyed the illustrations in the book because, they t ...more
Dianna
Apr 07, 2010 Dianna rated it it was amazing
Wow, I loved this book! I don't know if you've seen the videos on YouTube recently that take a statement/verse line by line and then reverse it, and it still (mostly) makes sense, but the meaning is different. Anyway, that's about how this book goes. Except that it's about characters from fairy tales, which makes it about ten thousand times cooler.

I didn't expect my three-year-old to like this book much; I figured the concept of reversible verse would be a bit above him, and it was. But he loved
...more
Gracie
Jan 15, 2015 Gracie rated it really liked it
This book has two ways to look at common fairytales- up and down. The stories change based on how you read them, which helps students close reading and analyzing. It also teaches positivity by reading the story up!
Davin Thompson-williams
Jan 15, 2015 Davin Thompson-williams rated it it was amazing
I loved how the book incorporated so many different fairytales. The reversible verse was really cool. I literally read each message twice in the page it was lots of fun!
Jacoba
Dec 18, 2013 Jacoba rated it it was amazing
Mirror Mirror: A book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer (2010)
Genre: Poetry
Format: Book
Plot summary:A collection of short poems which, when reversed, provide new perspectives on the fairy tale characters they feature.
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory (strong language, sex, death, religious overtones, violence, etc.): No special considerations
Review citation (if available):Sutton, Roger Horn Book Magazine , March/April 2010, Vol. 86 Issue 2, p79-80, 2p
Section source used to f
...more
Marie
Oct 12, 2015 Marie rated it really liked it
Shelves: rll-539
In this beautifully illustrated book there are two sides to every poem. Read them forwards or read them backwards to reveal two very different meanings using the same words. Marilyn Singer shows her writing skills in this collection of reverso poems.

In class discussion options: fairy-tales, types of poems and point of view.
Suggested for grades 2-5
Blanca P.
Oct 20, 2011 Blanca P. rated it really liked it
MY opinion is that I like this book because its poetry because the storys rhyme and because they entertain me.MY schema is why the witch wants to give Snow white a apple.MY questions are why,how,who,when.I recomend this book to my sisteres because when we were playing they wanted to give me and apple.THE title is MIRROR MIRROR because the poem changes from foward and backward. MY favorite poem is MIRROR MIRROR because it talks about the 7 dwarfs, snow white and the witch that gives the apple.
Maggie Sideris
Jun 02, 2016 Maggie Sideris added it
Shelves: poetry
1. There are always two sides to every story, and it this case there are two sides to every poem. When watching a fairytale movie, you only get to hear one side, but in this book of poems you are given two different points of view on the same topic. The poems in this book are reversible.
2. What a cool and amazing book. I have to admit that at times I did not like it, because the poems did not rhyme, but that is just me. The creativity that went into this book is outstanding.
3. There is another b
...more
Lauren
May 10, 2016 Lauren added it
Shelves: ls-301302
Curricular Connections:

I would select a poem from the book, as an example The Sleeping Beauty and the Wide-Awake Prince, and have the students read it. This you could use to introduce poetry in a familiar way. Also while talking about the poem you could talk about the social aspect for an older grade. Talk about the gender roles in this and why the prince feels the way he does. This goes into author’s choice.

§110.31. English Language Arts and Reading, English I (One Credit), Beginning with Schoo
...more
Perri Hammershlag
Apr 02, 2016 Perri Hammershlag rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
The book combines poetry and fairytales to show classic fairytales from different perspectives. Each page shows a poem forward from one character, and then the same poem is reversed, giving the perspective of another character. The poems work equally well in both directions and allows the reader to gain a new perspective.

I think this is an amazing concept and would be a fun activity to try with students. Applying this poetry concepts to fairytales is brilliant because often in a fairytale, you o
...more
Nathalie S
Mar 28, 2016 Nathalie S rated it really liked it
This is a companion book of reverso poems to Marilyn Singer's FOLLOW FOLLOW. This one is also based on fairy tales. I felt that the one about BEAUTY AND THE BEAST illustrated the reverso genre best.

LONGING FOR BEAUTY

A beast Longing
can love stirs
beauty. a soft heart
A moist muzzle Look
can welcome beneath fur.
a rose. A nightingale singing,
A hairy ear can prize
can prize a hairy ear.
a nightingale, singing. A rose
Beneath fur, can welcome
look! a moist muzzle
A soft heart Beauty
stirs, can love
longing. a
...more
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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 hig
...more
More about Marilyn Singer...

Other Books in the Series

Reverso Poems (3 books)
  • Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems
  • Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths

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