Reviews for Follow Follow : A Book of Reverso Poems

Booklist Reviews 2013 January #1
This companion to Mirror Mirror (2010) offers another fairytale-themed collection of free verse poems, each paired with its "reverso," or the poem in reverse. For example, "The Little Mermaid's Choice" begins "For love, / give up your voice. / Don't / think twice," and the accompanying reverso poem concludes with "Think twice! / Don't / give up your voice / for love." The punctuation often changes, as does the formatting, thereby offering up intriguing and inventive takes on each tale. Other reversos give varying perspectives, as in the case of "Ready, Steady, Go!," which presents both the tortoise's and the hare's points of view. Beautifully rendered, richly hued illustrations artfully transition from depicting the first poem's scenario to the second's, and interweave fantastic and realistic details. Though the poems are eloquent and witty, they may be somewhat esoteric for younger kids and will resonate more with those familiar with the classic stories. An appended author's note, however, includes summaries of the tales and further explicates Singer's finely crafted, unique form. An enjoyable collection that may prompt kids to write their own reverso poems. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
As in Mirror Mirror, poems subvert traditional tales by offering two points of view on a story: what goes down on the left-hand of the page goes up on the right, with line breaks and punctuation revised for strategic effect. The twelve referenced tales include "Puss in Boots," "The Little Mermaid," and "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," and acrylic illustrations mirror the poems' structures.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #1
"It's not easy," warns Singer in a note about the "reverso," a verse form she created and first used in Mirror Mirror (rev. 3/10); and the first poem ("Fairy Tales") in this companion collection gently alludes to the craft involved, "how hard it was to write." The poems here again subvert traditional tales by offering two points of view on the story: what goes down on the left-hand of the page goes up on the right, with line breaks and punctuation revised for strategic effect. Thus the dilemma of the Little Mermaid: "For love, / give up your voice. / Don't / think twice" advises the first verse, while the second ends with a warning, "Think twice! / Don't / give up your voice / for love." The poems require (and reward) close attention; the twelve referenced tales also include "Puss in Boots," "The Emperor's New Clothes," and "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," with notes on each appended. Once again, the acrylic illustrations mirror the poems' structure. On the left, a princess sleeps on a gentle cloud-leafed bed; on the right, a sensible girl massages her back wrought achy by that pesky pea tucked far below. roger sutton

Kirkus Reviews 2013 January #2
A companion piece to the acclaimed Mirror, Mirror (2010), this offering presents more delightful "reverso" poems to treasure. As in the original volume, each page spread presents an expertly crafted poem based on a fairy tale coupled with a second poem which is, with only minor changes in capitalization and punctuation, the first poem in reverse. Together, the two poems offer new perspectives and insights into familiar tales and their characters. Take, for example, the poems based on "Thumbelina." The first verse, from the girl's perspective, begins, "Me / marry / a mole? / I am / small, / but / my dreams are / lofty and daring, / not / constant and safe," while the second verse, in the voice of the mole this time, ends with "constant and safe, / not / lofty and daring. / My dreams are / but / small. / I am / a mole. / Marry / me." Other featured tales include "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Tortoise and the Hare," "The Princess and the Pea," "The Three Little Pigs" and more. Masse's bold and brilliant illustrations bring the poems to life, showcasing the different perspectives while maintaining a lovely sense of unity by essentially dividing each painting into two distinct images while incorporating elements that inextricably yoke each image to its counterpart. Read alongside the traditional tales it plays off of or enjoyed on its own, this volume is one to savor. (about reversos, about the tales) (Picture book/poetry. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 January #1

Singer and Masse's companion to Mirror Mirror (a PW Best Book in 2010) is just as inspired as its predecessor. Iconic fairy tale characters speak through poems that can be read backward and forward, resulting in drastically different meanings. Familiar rivals duke it out: "I can't be/ beat./ I've got rabbit feet to/ take me to the finish line," says the overconfident hare. "Take me to the finish line!/ I've got rabbit feet to/ beat./ I can't be/ the smallest bit distracted," maintains the tortoise. Elsewhere, the line "Behold his glorious majesty" conveys both vanity and incredulity in Singer's take on the Emperor's New Clothes. Cobalts, reds, and golds dominate Masse's textured acrylics, contributing suitably regal visuals for Singer's dizzyingly clever wordplay. Ages 6-up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator's agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Feb.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 April

Gr 3-6--Follow Follow is a companion to Mirror Mirror (Dutton, 2010), Singer's first book of reverso poems in which she asks, "We read most poems down a page. But what if we read them up?" With just a few "changes allowed only in punctuation and capitalization," and reading the poem from bottom up, the adage "there are two sides to every story" is truly manifest. Masse's two-sided illustrations capture the changes in point of view, tone, and color. "No Bigger Than Your Thumb" presents a Thumbelina loath to consider marrying a mole since her dreams are "lofty and daring," far from "a sheltered life underground." She asks from the start, "Me/marry/ a mole?" The mole has the last word: "I am/a mole./Marry/ me." For the poem based on "The Little Mermaid," Masse makes the mermaid's conflict evident by presenting both of her selves, mermaid and young woman, entwined in the center of the page: her long hair is wrapped about the tail of her sea-self. The deep blues, greens, and tangerines dazzle. The poem begins: "For love,/give up your voice./Don't /think twice." And reverses: "Think twice!/Don't/give up your voice/for love." Singer's reversos present lyrical and evocative moments that will surprise and delight children and provide them with opportunities for critical discussion. With their shifts in diction and point of view, the poems and illustrations are ripe for visual and textual literacy exploration and performance.--Teresa Pfeifer, The Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, MA

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