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

Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer
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bookshelves: reading-like-a-writer

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 technique may cause difficulty with comprehension. I do believe however that the author uses several elements of craft well, including what Fletcher calls "spoken word", voice and tension.

The very structure of the reverso poems allows the reader to get to know the characters through their words: what they say and how they say it. You also hear their inner voice. As Fletcher says, the words "carry with them the sense that someone has actually written them." The lines are personal to each of the fairy tale characters and you momentarily know what it is like to be in their shoes. Since each set of poems take an opposing perspective, tension is also a built in element. For example, one set of reverso poems is about Goldilocks and the Three Bears. When read from Goldilocks's perspective you sense her confusion at the bears anger, and her lack of remorse for entering the bears home. (I mean they did leave the door unlocked.) The 3 bears on the other hand are furious over the fact that Goldilocks doesn't think what she did is a big deal. They also think she is absurd for trying to blame them for her crime. The illustrations further serve to create tension, as they are divided down the middle with each half taking on its perspective of the story.

This book is great for demonstrating person v. person conflict, inner conflict, perspective taking, and characterization. I would use it to teach any of these elements.



**Fletcher, R. (2013). What a Writer Needs (2nd ed). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.**
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 17, 2013 – Shelved as: reading-like-a-writer
July 17, 2013 – Shelved

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