Mirror, Mirror contains fourteen such poems, along with bright two-sided illustrations. In some the change in word order doesn’t really seem to add much new understanding, but in others there’s a surprising twist of perspective that can make you think about the story in a new way. This would be particularly intriguing and exciting to lower elementary-aged children who are just beginning to learn about the concept that different people have different points of view. There’s a poem telling Goldilocks’s story, for example, which reverses to tell the story as the Three Bears see it. Another set of poems pairs the importance of Rumpelstiltskin’s name with the apparent unimportance of the miller’s daughter’s name. I think Singer’s second book of fairy tale reversos, Follow, Follow, is even better.
Here’s a fun one: Birthday Suit
Who dares say he drained the treasury
This emperor has
sublime taste in finery!
Only a fool could fail to see.
Sublime taste in finery?
This emperor has -
Who dares say he drained the treasury?
Behold his glorious majesty.
[Picture: Cover illustration by Josée Masse, Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer, Dutton, 2010.]
Poem by Marilyn Singer from Follow Follow, Dial, 2013.