Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Josee Masse

This is a book of reversible verse.  Poems that read both up and down.  Doing so tells both sides of a fairy tale.  Little Red Riding Hood’s poem becomes that of the wolf when reversed.  Sleeping Beauty and the Prince both envy the other.  Beauty and the Beast find true love from two different directions.  And many more. 

Singer’s verse reads effortlessly but she offers such incredible skill that it is awe inspiring.  After reading the first poem aloud to my son, we proceeded to read the book to my older son and my husband.  All of us were amazed by the ability to write a poem that reads forwards and backwards and demonstrates another side of the story.  I think that is the most vital piece of the poems, that they don’t just work forward and back but that they illuminate the other side as well.  They are truly reversible verses. 

She also injects a lot of humor in the poems, a wry attitude, a sly grin, making them a delight to read.  Masse’s art has a traditional feel, done on wood, that really suits the fairy tale subjects.  Her art too offers humor and deftly demonstrates both sides of the verse.

Use this with older students to get them trying their own reversible poems.  It will also be a welcome addition to any poetry unit, fairy tale reading, or just simple for fun.  An awesome display of skill and humor, this book is simply amazing.  Appropriate for ages 5-12.

Reviewed from copy received from Dutton.

Also reviewed by 7 Imp.