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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mirror, Mirror, written by Marilyn Singer.

"Rapunzel's Locks

No wonder she felt snippy.
Sweeping the floor
it took forever to manage -
all that pale, tangled, dangling hair.
Cut off,
shut up in the tower,
who was
that strange girl with the weird name?
You know,
someone said her mother was a witch.
It figures."

It is almost impossible to do any type of justice to this marvelous book, without having it in your hands. And that is why I am delighted to tell you a bit about it and to suggest (no, urge!) you to get out there and buy it for your library! It is a 10 plus and should be in every home and school collection! If you love poetry, or fairy tales and you are impressed by enchanting artwork, it should be yours.

Add to all that the fact that Marilyn Singer is a master poet, writing and sharing reversos with such skill and intrigue. A reverso is a creation of this brilliant and honored poet and she describes it this way:

"When you read a reverso down, it is one poem. When you read it up, with changes allowed only in punctuation and capitalization it is a different poem."

So, now you have the premise and then she added a little twist...they should tell two sides of the same story. That surely adds another dimension and a bit of a puzzle. I think I would find sudokos easier to attempt than this poetic form. But, it is challenging, isn't it?

So, here you have a series of amazing reversos that are based on familiar tales and they make perfect sense - read both ways! The boldly designed artwork of Canadian illustrator Josee Masse adds deeper meaning by showing the dual nature of the characters portrayed and the events described.

I hope you have tried reading Rapunzel's poem in reverse. In case you have not, here it is in reverse:

"It figures.
Someone said her mother was a witch.
You know
that strange girl with the weird name,
who was
shut up in the tower,
cut off
all that pale, tangled, dangling hair?
It took forever to manage
sweeping the floor.
No wonder she felt snippy."


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