Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mirror Mirror - Book Review

I'm sure it won't surprise you to know that we've recently acquired a lot of books. A LOT of books. As in, it will take me half a life time to actually read everything on my to-read book shelf.

Anyway, when Amberly brought home her Scholastic book order form from school a few weeks ago, I tried to restrain myself. I wasn't planning to order anything at all, but there was one book that Amberly really really wanted. One book. So, I ordered it for her.

Amberly brought it home from school yesterday afternoon. She and I read through the poems together. Then we read them again. Then she read them to Daddy. Then Daddy read them to Thomas and Lilly. Then Daddy read it to Neal. Even Neal liked it. Amberly read them again this morning while I braided her hair. Let's just say that this is a fabulous and very delightful book. You've never seen anything like it before.

Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse is a book of reversible verse or "reversos" which were created by Singer. The poem is read one way down and then flipped and read up. The only changes are in the punctuation and capitalization. Read in this way, the poem becomes a different poem.

In Mirror Mirror, Singer uses this ingenious and delightful style to tell some of our favorite fairy tales--from to Cinderella to Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears. I love them all but one of my favorites is "In the Hood". The first poem is from the view point of Little Red Riding Hood:

In my hood,
skipping through the wood,
carrying a basket,
picking berries to eat--
juicy and sweet
what a treat!
But a girl
mustn't dawdle
After all, Grandma's waiting.
And here's the same poem read the opposite and way and from the viewpoint of the wolf:

After all, Grandma's waiting,
mustn't dawdle . . .
But a girl!
What a treat--
juicy and sweet,
picking berries to eat,
carrying a basket,
skipping through the wood
in my 'hood.
Clever, eh? These poems really are so much fun. We practice reciting them in the different voices which makes them even more delightful. I'm certainly not a poet, but I've got an itch to try some simple reversos. I think I'll encourage Neal and Amberly to try it too.

The illustrations are colorful and fanciful. They also add to the poems by using the idea of mirror images. This book is sure to become a classic and I certainly hope that Singer continues to write and publish her reversos. Bravo!

1 comment:

Booklogged said...

Sounds like a remarkable book. It just amazing how clever and creative people are. If you write some of these please post!