N_hannahkang's Reviews > Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems

Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer
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's review
Nov 17, 2010

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bookshelves: 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 from the opposite perspective fall short or flat. I thought when I picked up the book that it would be more about the untold stories from the other characters. What I did appreciate though was the attempt to consider multiple perspectives - exposing children to this idea could potentially prevent or at least raise the idea that there isn't always "one truth."

I would still use this book with my freshman when we explore fairy tales in the beginning of the year. If anything - it may be a good way to introduce the unit in terms of discussing how "there's more to fairy tales than meets the eye." I might lead with the story of Briar Rose titled "The Sleeping Beauty and the Wide-Awake Prince." The first poem is "Typical. / Hacking through briars, / looking for love - / the prince at work. / But I have to be / sleeping, / never / partying, / never / out in the world. / It's no fun being / in a fairy tale." This is the traditional story told in the perspective of Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty - the typical damsel in distress. Then the second poem reads "In a fairy tale / it's no fun being / out in the world, / never / partying, / never / sleeping. / But I have to be / the prince at work, / looking for love, / hacking through briars. / Typical." This second poem provides the perspective of the prince - the one who has to be the savior or rescuer. Students could begin discussing all of the "untold" stories or all of the hidden messages in fairy tales.
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message 1: by N_katieg52 (new)

N_katieg52 This is a really interesting and neat concept. I am intrigued and can't wait to see this book tomorrow night. Thanks for the great review, Hannah. I really like your ideas of how you can use this book in your class!

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