Echo Echo by Marilyn Singer

Echo Echo by Marilyn Singer

Echo Echo by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Josée Masse  (InfoSoup)

Singer returns with another collection of her amazing reverso poems this time focusing on Greek mythology. The format which has poems which read one way read forward and another way read in reverse, looks at myths from two divergent points of view. This is particularly effective with Greek myths because they so often have two points of view embedded in them. The poems focus on myths such as Pandora’s box, King Midas, Medusa, Icarus and Narcissus. Though brief, these poems capture the essence of each myth, exposing their complexity in a few choice words and phrases.

Singer has done it again. Her amazing reverso poems must be read with care by young readers who have to pay close attention to punctuation to see the difference in meanings between the two poems. The poems are dazzling as they lay open the themes of each myth, the drama being played out in the story and the differing points of view of the main characters. This is one intelligent display of word play that is incredibly difficult to even imagine doing.

Masse’s illustrations each play upon the theme of different sides or points of view. With visual lines down the middle, the two sides both work together as a whole and show the differences between the two poems. The illustrations echo the poems closely, offering a visual feast in addition to the richness of the words.

Another winner for Singer and her reverso poetry, classrooms teaching mythology will love to have this book on hand for accessible and bite-sized looks at many myths. Appropriate for ages 6-9.

Reviewed from copy received from Dial Books.

Apples and Robins by Lucie Felix

Apples and Robins by Lucie Felix

Apples and Robins by Lucie Felix (InfoSoup)

Released March 8, 2016.

So simple and so clever, this picture book takes the wonder of shapes and page turns to a new height. Apples are made of circles and red, turn the page and the white circles on a red background transform into red apples and green leaves. A ladder appears from a stack of six rectangles and one long one. A robin flies onto the page as ovals and triangles are framed by a circle cut out. The book comes together as a birdhouse is built in the apple tree and soon robins and apples are thrown into disarray as the page turns reveal a big storm. The simple elements though return and things are set to rights once more.

There are a lot of books with cut outs on the market. Few though have this book’s flair with surprises and a sense that with each page turn there is a reveal. Even the very simple ladder somehow surprises and delights. The combination of apples and robins may not seem clear at first, but that too is revealed in a playful way as the book comes together into a cohesive whole filled with enough drama to keep those pages turning quickly.

The illustrations are simple and lovely. They use basic shapes in a compelling and creative way. As I mentioned earlier, it is the reveal that works so well here with each page turn having a sense of magic about it.

Smart and lovely, this is a brilliantly designed book. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Chronicle Books.