14 April 2012

Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer

Mirror Mirror
Illustrated by Josée Masse
Dutton Children's Books
New York

Funny story behind me reading this book. See, since last fall I’ve fallen in love with the Cybils awards (mostly because I aspire to be a judge someday...), and I’ve  slooowly been working my way through the winners.  Many of the young adult books I’d read, so I kind of skipped those and headed for the elementary books – they’re the group of books I usually don’t get around to.  So where’s the funny part?  I accidentally bookmarked the 2010 winners in the elementary category.  So I’ve slooooly worked my way through LAST YEAR’S winners.  You’d think someone as “techno-saavy” as me wouldn’t make such a mistake.  But you’d be wrong.  Either that, or I’m not as “techno-saavy” as everyone thinks.  Anyway, I’m especially thankful that I made this mistake because I’ve found some really great early reading books!  One of those books is one that I haven’t been able to get out of my head for weeks.  It’s called Mirror Mirror.  The inside cover reads:
Ther are two sides to every story, from the princess and the frog, to the beauty and the beast, to Sleeping Beauty and that charming prince.
Now in a unique collection of reversible verse, classic fairy tales are turned on their heads.  Literally. Read these clever poems from top to bottom.  Then reverse the lines and read from bottom to top to give these well-loved stories a delicious new spin.

Isn’t that a fantastic idea?  The author calls these reversible verse poems reverso.  I wasn’t sure how it would work, but once I read one, it all made sense.  Here’s what one of the poems looks like:

It may be such
a fairy-tale secret,
this much
I know:
The road leads
you need to go.

When you reverse it, it looks like this:

You need to go
the road leads –
I know
this much.
A fairy-tale secret?
It may be such.

Isn’t that fantastic!?!?  The illustrations are also fantastic – each illustration is split in half and matches each side of the reverso.

Who would I recommend this book to?  Uh, just about anyone.  And I totally understand why it won…last year.  Now I’m off to find this year’s winner!

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