Review: Follow Follow by Marilyn Singer

follow follow

Follow Follow by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Josee Masse

This is the second book of reverso poems by Singer, following her amazing Mirror Mirror.  In a form she invented, Singer tells the stories of fairy tales using a poem and then reversing the lines and changing the punctuation to tell the other side of the story.  The result are brain teasing poems that illuminate the darkness inherent in the tales themselves.  This group of poems includes stories that may not be familiar to readers, so the index of stories at the end of the book will be welcome.

As with her first book, some of the reversos work better than others.  Here my favorites are The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, and The Tortoise and the Hare.  All of the poems have a wonderful cleverness and wit to them, making them all infinitely readable and a great deal of fun.  This is a celebration of poetry, fairy tales and word play all wrapped into one delight.

Masse’s illustrations are done on wood, giving them a wonderful texture that is reminiscent of tapestries and medieval images.  Her use of jewel tones evokes that period even more.  All of the images are also double-sided, showing both sides of the poem in one united image.

Perfect for fans of fairy tales, this clever and delicious book will have them seeking out the unfamiliar tales to read them in full.  Appropriate for ages 7-9.

Reviewed from copy received from Dial Books.

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