Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems

Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn SingerFollow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems
by Marilyn Singer; 
illus. by Josée Masse
Primary    Dial    32 pp.
2/13    978-0-8037-3769-3    $16.99    g

“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.

From the January/February 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Of all my wishes, I wish I could afford a subscription.

  2. Don’t recycle your Horn Books. I saved min and refer to them frequently.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind