Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer and Josee Massee

mirror mirror

I love a clever book. And Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse is a clever book. This collection of fairy tale poems delights me every time  I read it.

Each page of Mirror Mirror has two poems about a certain fairy tale. The catch is that the second poem is the same as the first, just starting with the last line and going to the first.

The two poems use exactly the same words, but somehow, like magic, the first one is from one point of view, and the second tells a completely different story.

Confused? Here’s an example of one of the pages, this one taken from the story of Little Red Riding Hood (click to enlarge):

The poem on the left is from Little Red Riding Hood’s view, the second from the wolf’s. Isn’t that FUN? I read one or two to Bart and he was so amused by them, that he requested I read a few more of them (Sleeping Beauty v. the Prince is one of my favorites – both of them grumbling about life in a fairy tale).

And the illustrations are just gorgeous – bright and full of color. They are a perfect mix of modern and traditional. Ella stares at the pictures while I read the poems to her, so I’m saying she loves them (someday, when she can talk, I’ll ask her what she actually thinks).

What I particularly like about this is that it can appeal to younger children who just enjoy the pictures and the poems, while older children will really get a kick out of how clever it is to have the same poem read two ways and take on completely different meanings.

I did a pretty fun unit on poetry last year and I’m kicking myself for not having included this title (and style). What was I thinking?

Copy received from publisher


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  1. Wow, working in numerous tabs and I honestly can't remember if I commented yet. If so, sorry.

    Thanks so much for this recommendation. I'm always looking for new poetry for kids. I love Shel, but we need to branch out.

  2. Children from about 5 to 8 would love this book. Can't you just hear the giggles? Another book to add to the long, long list.

  3. Wow! What a clever book. I always did a big poetry unit when I taught. My class would have loved this. (Plus my advanced kids would have loved the challenge of writing poems in this style.) I may have to add this to my Christmas list! 🙂 Thanks as always for the amazing book recommendations.

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