Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse
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Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  2,533 ratings  ·  541 reviews
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 hea...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 4th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile
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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 78 books — 136 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 — 32 voters

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Community Reviews

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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 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
Jun 26, 2012 Luann rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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
Apr 22, 2010 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
Kathryn Yegge
This was one of the greatest poetry books I've ever read. Seriously. The author makes great use of reversable poems in a fairy tale format. I'm really saddened that I saved this book for #7 on my Bluebonnet reading list. I wish I had read this one first so it could have been the first I shared with my students. I plan on using this book to emphasize the importance of punctuation. This book reminds me of all the other amazing poetry books I've read in the past like Shel Silverstein. I recommend t...more
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!
“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
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
Tracey Demario
Marilyn Singer has turned poetry upside down with her creation of the reverso. A reverso is a poem that can be read from top to bottom and then reversed and read from bottom to top to create a new poem and a new point of view. In Mirror, Mirror: a Book of Reversible Verse, she uses the concept to retell some favorite fairytales. The poems are presented side by side, in different color fonts. Singer is adept at using short phrases that can take on double meanings when read in the reverse. I parti...more
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,
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
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
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
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
Oct 05, 2013 Kelsey rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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
Blanca P.
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.
K. Vela
MirrorMirror: A Book of Reversible Verse My favorite verse was theDoubtful Ducklingp[14-15]. I am bias to this particular one because it was one of my favorite bedtime stories as a child. Singer’sreversopoemwas able to flawlessly express the duckling’sinternal struggle.Masse’s illustrations throughout the book flow seamlessly and complement thepoems in a very ingenious was. This illustrationcaptures the essence of the poem to perfection. The duckling sees himself as a swan; the swan’s reflection...more
Mirror Mirror is a book of reversible verse—what does that mean? I think it is best served with an example.[return][return]“The Doubtful Duckling” Take I[return]Someday [return]I’ll turn into a swan[return]No way[return]I’ll stay[return]An ugly duckling[return]Stubby and gray,[return]Plain to see—[return]Look at me.[return]A beauty I’ll be.[return][return]“The Doubtful Duckling” Take II (reversed)[return]A beauty I’ll be?[return]Look at me—[return]Plain to see,[return]Stubby and gray.[return]An...more
Cassandra Miller
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse is a must-have for elementary classrooms! This poetry response is a very positive one. I loved reading this book and was very impressed at the author's clever use of poetry and words. The book features 14 different pairs of poems, each describing a different fairy tale. Each poem is read one way and then on the opposite page the poem is flipped to show the opposite characters point of view. For instance, the...more
Courtney Dyer
Mirror Mirror is a witty, fairy-tale inspired collection of poems in which author Marilyn Singer creates her own poetry form she calls reverso- poems that can be read both forwards and backwards.

Singer uses this format to tell familiar stories of characters such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood and then reinvents them by writing the same poem, bottom-up, to share a new perspective that changes the meaning completely by only altering the punctuation, line breaks, and capitali...more
This was out of the ordinary reading these tales from the top down and then in reverse from the bottom to the top. It puts a fascinating spin on classic fairytales. Poetry can sometimes be considered boring (or in my case, too sophisticated to a point where I do not understand it); this book challenged that by making it exciting to read not only for children but for adults too. My only complaint was some of the tales were either too simplistic or a tad awkward in their wording.

The fantastic vibr...more
Jordan Brown
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems
Author: Marilyn Singer
Illustrator: Josee Masse
Reading Level: ages 7-10

Singer, Marilyn (2010) Mirror Mirror, A Book of Reverso Poems New York: Penguin Group

Mirror Mirror is a fascinating book of various poems that pertain to different fairy tails. This book is unique in the fact that it is entirely composed of reverso poems--meaning that each poem is written in such a way that it can be read both up and down and down and up. Each direction you read it in giv...more
Denise Z
My opinion of the book is that i like it sooo much cause is fairytales and Is poetry.The book is about the change the poems back words and has 2 diffrent points of view.My shema is that I am a princess cause they call me on the house.My question is why all the princess have wiches.I recommend the book to Jacqueline cause she likes fairytales.My favorite poem is mirror mirror cause i like ryming words and i alos love snow white whith her dress.
One of those random library picks that comes out and sticks with you, this is a surprisingly thoughtful and well-written book of reversible fairy-tale poems. You can read them forwards and backwards, and they give different perspectives on some well-known figures. The Sleeping Beauty poems were the best in the bunch, but all of them are quite good. Love reading these to my daughter.
Gina Enk
I ordered this after seeing Megan Dincher's rating. Great concept and one that I plan to use in Advanced Creative Comp. I think I'll have my students choose their own topics for their reverso poems to give these more flexibility. Claire and I plan to collaborate on some of our own this summer!
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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...
Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems A Stick Is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play Tallulah's Tutu A Strange Place to Call Home: The World's Most Dangerous Habitats & the Animals That Call Them Home Tallulah's Solo

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