Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: MIRROR MIRROR by Marilyn Singer

Singer, Marilyn. Mirror Mirror. Illus. Josee Masse. NY: Dutton, 2010. ISBN 0-525-47901-7. $16.99.

These short reversible story poems are intellectual delights: each page’s left side poem is read top to bottom, then is reversed line for line in the right side poem, which, enjoyably, also makes perfect sense as well as a good poem. Word order isn’t changed, only occasional punctuation. Singer’s originals are a model for potential writing sessions in classrooms. Poetry can be fun!

The poems are versions of famous fairy tales, so content like “Rapunzel” and “Snow White” is readily recognizable. On the opposite page are illustrations rich in color and design, also mirroring the poems—the left side illustration matches the left side poem, and the right side painting encapsulates the poem, the story element, in its reverse. Masse juxtaposes the two paintings superbly so they play off each other, as in the Frog Prince and Beauty and the Beast. The sense of design is beautiful.

Alida Allison

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