Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book talk: Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse (Virginia Readers' Choice, 2012-2013)

Did you look in the mirror this morning? Mirrors are funny. They show us a reversed image of ourselves. This book, Mirror Mirror, is all about reversals in fairy tales, a really fun topic, because reversals are everywhere in fairy tales: the poor, abused girl becomes the rich, beloved princess; the ugly duckling becomes the beautiful swan; the old crone becomes the young girl. There are reversals of appearance, of reality, and of good/evil.

"In the Hood," a reverso poem
But what if you made a poem, called a reverso, about this? Reversos are deceptively simple. I’m going to read you my favorite one. [Read your favorite reverso to the kids while showing them the accompanying picture: I like “In the Hood”]

[While explaining the reverso format, turn the pages so they can see others…] A reverso poem is like a puzzle: you read it, going down, as you would normally read. If you then took them bottom lines and put them at the top, reversing the order, you’re using exactly the same words but somehow, mysteriously, the meaning changes. Look carefully or you’ll miss it.

Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Josee Masse. Dutton Children’s Books: 2010. Booktalk to elementary (I would use it for 1st through 5th). Virginia Readers’ Choice, 2012-2013.

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