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Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems
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Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems

(Reverso Poems)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  4,232 ratings  ·  865 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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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  4,232 ratings  ·  865 reviews

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This book was delightful. It took me 2 poems before I got what was going on and it tickled me. There is a poem about a fairy tale character on half the page and then the other half of the page is the same poem read backward. It’s written smartly, so it reads well both ways and tells the story from two different angles.

I also love the artwork. There is one page of art with a line down the middle of it as well and it is both stories told and the shapes blend into each other from each p
May 02, 2010 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 13, 2011 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’
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
a fairy tale?

A fairy tale
isn't . . .

Using the same poem, but reversed, Singer cleverly manages to tell both sides of the story when it comes to Red Riding Hood and the wolf, Goldilocks and the bears, and other familiar characters. A fun book with lovely artwork by Josée Masse.

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 se
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!
Nov 17, 2010 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
Oct 08, 2010 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
Jan 26, 2011 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
May 04, 2014 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 verseMirror,
Apr 21, 2010 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.
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mom, jacob, ellie
Ellie really enjoyed listening to the audio while looking at the book, Jake...not so much..krb 7/1/16
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 5

I'm in love with these twisty, upside down fairytales. The way the author was able to switched the poem on its head was amazing. I cannot wait to read more books like this one.
Ben Truong
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems is a children's picture book of poems written by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josée Masse, which is an anthology of reverso poems, which are poems that could be read forward and backward, about fairytales.

Singers's poetry is rather simplistic, but ingeniously written. Singer uses "reverso" poems, a form of her creation, to show that there are two sides to every fairy tale. On each page, two poems appear, one an inversion of the other with minor
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, picture-books
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
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse takes famous fairy tale characters and writes a poem about that character. However, right next to it, is the same poem only written backwards or reversed. Readers will read one poem explaining a story or feeling. Then they can read the poem in reverse and the poem can have a completely different story or feeling. With most of these poems, one poem can be construed as negative and down while the other is more positive and upbeat. The author might be tryin ...more
Jul 17, 2013 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
Leslie Mathers
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
In her book “Mirror, Mirror,” Marilyn Singer crafts a mind-boggling and revolutionary form of poetry called reverso poems. Each poem is comprised of two parts. The first part is an old-fashioned fairy tale, and the second part is the exact wording of the first poem, just reversed in the way it is written. In forming this second poem as an opposite of the first, Singer casts a new light and perspective of some of the most well-known fairy tales, such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Snow White.”

Taylor Carr
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mirror Mirror is a fun and quirky book of poems that literally flips stories on their heads to create clever twists on classic fairy tales. Creating a reverso poem involves taking a poem and flipping all of the lines from top to bottom. The only changes made are to punctuation and capitalization, and if done well, this leads to hilarious interpretations of these stories. Mirror Mirror takes on Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and many more stories with this unique twist. The re ...more
Jul 19, 2012 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-ta
Oct 08, 2013 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 a
Sep 30, 2015 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 there are two sides to every stor ...more
Hannah  Patterson
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
“Mirror Mirror” contains a plethora of reverse poems that showcase two sides of the same fairytales to reveal two different ways of looking at each story. Middle school students tend to not be very aware of the fact that people possess different perspectives other than their own, and so this book would help them with the idea that there is never just one point of view out there. “Mirror Mirror” would be an excellent model text for not only constructing reverse poems, but also for exemplifying ho ...more
Oct 04, 2013 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
Patricia Pappas
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This wonderful book is from the Horn Book Fanfare List, 2011 and is a reversed poem book. Each page features a different fairytale and each side a poem is told from the point of view of a different characters. For example, in the story of the three little pigs, you get the perspective from the wolf, and the pigs. It puts a fun spin on things! The language, images, and colors are vivid. This book is a favorite of my students and I would use it with grades 1-4 during a poetry unit. It has such fun ...more
Feb 13, 2010 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.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This was better in theory than in reality. Some of the poems were great and others a little less so. I liked the art and it's a cool thing worth showing your kids.
Corinne Dowell
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poems
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems. by Marilyn Singer is a fantastical book of fairy-tale style poems. Each poem has an antithesis built in that can only be discovered when read backwards, giving a new spin and perspective on the story the poem is meant to represent. In a way it is like the identity of the poem is being subverted. Middle school students love these types of twists and tricks, and having it set up with fairy-tales that most everyone knows in one form or another would be a grea ...more
Rebekah Bloxom
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poems
This is a fun book children's book of poetry in the form of reverse poems. The reverse poems are all formed around fairytales, and have visuals that represent the reflections within the poems.
Middle school students will enjoy this book because it appeals to their childhood, and the reverse poems are fun and creative. The short read will make it less intimidating and more accessible for students of various reading levels.
Students can read one or more poems and then try their hand at w
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I LOVED Singer's book of reverso poems based on Greek myths. This one was not quite as impressive to me. Still clever, and a great concept, but I didn't find the poems as engaging and thought-provoking.
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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 Y

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Reverso Poems (3 books)
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  • Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths