Saturday, November 28, 2015

Module 14: Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems

Book Summary: This is a book of reverso poems: Poems that can be read both forward and backwards. All of these poems tell two sides of various fairy tales.

APA Reference: Singer, M. (2010). Mirror Mirror. London, England: Dutton Children's Books.

Impressions: A fun and fascinating read. While some poems are better than others, most are delightful and fresh. All the fairy tales are familiar, meaning very few who read this book will be lost to the meaning of the poems. The best poems are those where one way is the hero and the reverse is the villain--the highlight being Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf. 

Professional 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.

Austin, P. (2010). Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems (Book). [Review of the book Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems, by Marilyn Singer]. Booklist, 106(9/10), 81.

Library Uses: Used during April's poetry month as an example of a type of poetry.

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