Reviews for Mirror Mirror : A Book of Reversible Verse


Booklist Reviews 2010 January #1
*Starred Review* This ingenious book of reversos, or poems which have one meaning when read down the page and perhaps an altogether different meaning when read up the page, toys with and reinvents oh-so-familiar stories and characters, from Cinderella to the Ugly Duckling. The five opening lines of the Goldilocks reverso read: "Asleep in cub's bed / Blonde / startled by / Bears, / the headline read." Running down the page side-by-side with this poem is a second, which ends with: "Next day / the headline read: / Bears startled / by blonde / asleep in cub's bed." The 14 pairs of poems--easily distinguished by different fonts and background colors--allow changes only in punctuation, capitalization, and line breaks, as Singer explains in an author's note about her invented poetic form. "It is a form that is both challenging and fun--rather like creating and solving a puzzle." Singer also issues an invitation for readers to try to write their own reversos on any topic. Matching the cleverness of the text, Masse's deep-hued paintings create split images that reflect the twisted meaning of the irreverently witty poems and brilliantly employ artistic elements of form and shape--Cinderella's clock on one side morphs to the moon on the other. A must-purchase that will have readers marveling over a visual and verbal feast. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
Through a poetic invention she dubs the reverso, Singer meditates on twelve familiar folktales, and, via the magic of shifting line breaks and punctuation, their shadows. Each free-verse poem has two stanzas, set on facing columns, where the second is the first reversed. Similarly bifurcated illustrations, Shrek-bright, face the cleverly constructed and insightful poems. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2010 #2
Through a poetic invention she dubs the reverso, Singer meditates on twelve familiar folktales, and, via the magic of shifting line breaks and punctuation, their shadows. Each free-verse poem has two stanzas, set on facing columns, where the second is the first reversed. Red Riding Hood, contemplating berries, thinks, "What a treat! But a girl / mustn't dawdle. / After all, Grandma's waiting" while across the page the wolf lurks: "After all, Grandma's waiting, / mustn't dawdle... / But a girl! / What a treat..." In the main, the poems are both cleverly constructed and insightful about their source stories, giving us the points of view of characters rarely considered. Similarly bifurcated illustrations, Shrek-bright, face the poems: Goldilocks ("ASLEEP IN CUB'S BED, / BLONDE / STARTLED BY / BEARS") awoken; the bears surprised ("BEARS STARTLED / BY BLONDE / ASLEEP IN CUB'S BED"). Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 February #2
A collection of masterful fairy-tale-inspired reversos--a poetic form invented by the author, in which each poem is presented forward and backward. Although the words are identical in each presentation, changes in punctuation, line breaks and capitalization create two pieces that tell completely different stories. "In the Hood," for instance, first presents Red Riding Hood's perspective: "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." Reversed, we hear from 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." Masse's gorgeous, stylized illustrations enhance the themes of duality and perspective by presenting images and landscapes that morph in delightful ways from one side of the page to the other. A mesmerizing and seamless celebration of language, imagery and perspective. (note on the form) (Poetry. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 February #2

Singer uses "reverso" poems, a form of her creation, to show that there are two sides to every fairy tale (the poems can be read backward and forward). On each page, two poems appear, one an inversion of the other with minor changes in punctuation. In "In the Hood," Little Red Riding Hood's poem ends: "But a girl/ mustn't dawdle./ After all, Grandma's waiting," while the wolf's poem begins: "After all, Grandma's waiting,/ mustn't dawdle.../ But a girl!" Masse's clever compositions play with symmetry (in "Longing for Beauty," Beauty and the Beast appear as one being, split in half, her tresses echoing his fur), bringing this smart concept to its fullest effect. Ages 6-up. (Mar.)

[Page 48]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 January

Gr 3-6--This appealing collection based on fairy tales is a marvel to read. It is particularly noteworthy because the poems are read in two ways: up and down. They are reverse images of themselves and work equally well in both directions. "Mirror Mirror" is chilling in that Snow White, who is looking after the Seven Dwarves, narrates the first poem of the pair. Read in reverse, it is the wicked queen who is enticing Snow White to eat the apple that will put her to sleep forever. "In the Hood" is as crafty as the wolf who tells of his delightful anticipation of eating Red Riding Hood. The mirrored poem is Red Riding Hood reminding herself not to dally since Grandma awaits. The vibrant artwork is painterly yet unfussy and offers hints to the characters who are narrating the poems. An endnote shows children how to create a "reverse" poem. This is a remarkably clever and versatile book that would work in any poetry or fairy-tale unit. A must-have for any library.--Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

[Page 90]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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