I'm sure you've heard the old adage "there are two sides to every story." But have you ever considered it in the case of fairy tales? Luckily for us, Marilyn Singer did and even invented a new form of poetry to do so, the reverso. In this collection, the poems not only read top to bottom, but bottom to top. You see, there are two sides to every story, even fairy tales.
The Poems: An explanation, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, Ugly Duckling, Snow White, Jack and the beanstalk, the Three Bears, Hansel & Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, the Frog Prince, Beauty & the Beast, An End
What I thought: Inspired and brilliant. Singer is truly a genius. The reverso is a lovely form, but difficult (at least to me--I've tried it & didn't have much luck). The trick of composition befuddles me. I guess it's a case of line by line. Or do you write the whole poem and then see what it says in reverse, and make changes as needed? Okay, now that I've theorized the reverso, I think I'll give it another try.
Back to the review. I loved this collection. My favorite poems are "Rapunzel's Locks," "Bears in the News," and "Longing for Beauty." The illustrations are great--so vibrant. My favorites are Snow White, the Three Bears, and Beauty & the Beast.
(Illus. Josee Masse. Dutton, 2010)