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Nonfiction Monday: Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer

Mirror, Mirror
By Marilyn Singer
Illustrated by Jose Masse
Dutton Children’s Books (Penguin)
ISBN: 9780525479017
Grades 1-6
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Click on poems to enlarge.

Review copy from publisher (via Bookends).

Click here to check out the Nonfiction Monday roundup at Bookends.

Also reviewed by Bookends, A Year of Reading, Kids Lit.

Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Very clever! And this is one book I will definitely be looking out for. (Will have to see if it’s coming to Australia.) Thanks for the creative review. :)

    • Travis, If there weren’t curse words in it, I’d post the reverso poem that one of my prisoner writing students wrote last week – it’s beyond amazing. But trying to write a reverso myself in that class was do difficult I wonder how to teach kids to do it? I’d love some ideas – you got it DOWN. LOVE the review reverso – I’m forwarding your blog to Marilyn! She’ll love this! Kat Apel, buy it from indiebound.org! It’s worth the shipping (easy for me to say here in NY!) but this book is a marvel. I reviewed it for my April newsletter – you can see pictures of the interior pages if you want – and the art is stunning:


      • Thanks for the info, Katie – and the link. You’re right. Illos are incredible too! I can see why everyone (!!) is raving about this book. :)

  2. Brilliant! Thank you for taking the time, wow…

    • All credit goes to Lynn and Cindy at Bookends – they did the reverso first, so I thought I’d give it a go. Tricky, tricky stuff. If teachers wanted to try reversos with their students, I think it would be best at the upper elementary, middle, or even high school age. But just about anyone can read it and enjoy.

  3. Brilliant job, Travis! I was going to try that task myself, and abandoned it, opting for the more traditional reverso.

  4. Travis, this is great! Makes your brain ache a bit, right? But then you feel so good after!

    • That describes it all right. I had this review kicking around for weeks and I couldn’t get it right. It definitely made me appreciate your skill. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. really great job on your reverso review! bravo!

    i ADORED this book — so did my 3rd grader. using fairy tales for the subject matter was brill: my daughter’s tiny mind was blown by the idea that secondary characters — especially villains — might have their own own upside-down perspectives on familiar stories. (the only book i think she’s read that has touched on this idea was The True Story of the Big Bad Wolf, and that was so jokey and she read it so long ago.) we ended up talking about Wicked, Grendel, the Wide Sargasso Sea, the Madwoman in the Attic — a lot of cool conversation triggered by one thin poetry book! marilyn singer rawks.

  6. Cindy Dobrez says

    WOW. Great job. I’m impressed. I love watching these poems unfold in new ways when you reverse the lines. I think Marilyn will enjoy this one a lot!

    • Cindy,
      Thanks for passing this one along to me. It’s one of those books you want to tell people about – I’ve been finding myself showing it to colleagues.

  7. You have bruised my brain, but I am glad. Hope to read Marilyn’s book for more good pain.

  8. Awesome Travis!

  9. Gene Moore says

    I love this book, too. The review is priceless. Kids of all ages will spend lots of time with this one, examining how it all works.


  1. […] I was hoping I’d find this, and I’m glad that I have.  It’s a reverso review of the book.  And here’s a second, even more complicated version by 100 Scope Notes. […]

  2. […] Bird, over at SLJ, reviewed Mirror Mirror today and 100 Scope Notes did too – and he did it in reverso (the form in the book) and so did […]

  3. […] Thanks for hosting! You introduced me to the book, and inspired the review. Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer – a reverso review at 100 Scope Notes. […]