Friday, May 17, 2013

Poetry Friday: Follow, Follow (by Marilyn Singer)

Like her earlier work Mirror, Mirror, Marilyn Singer has created a collection of clever and ironic reversos.  Follow, Follow uses fairy tale characters and stories to illustrate that there are two sides to every story.  The poems, and accompanying illustrations, are side by side.  Though there are only slight changes in areas of punctuation and capitalization, the poems are exactly the same on both sides, but the lines are in reverse order.  Amazingly, with just those small changes, a completely different perspective is revealed. For instance, in “Ready, Steady, Go!” both the hare and the tortoise’s views are seen (read both side separately):

That ridiculous loser!                             Take me to the finish line!
I am not                                                 I’ve got rabbit feet to
a slowpoke.                                           beat.
Though I may be                                    I can’t be
the smallest bit distracted,                       the smallest bit distracted.
I can’t be                                               Though I may be
beat.                                                      a slowpoke.
I’ve got rabbit feet to                              I am not
 take me to the finish line.                       That ridiculous loser.

Singer uses many other favorite fairy tales, such as  Twelve Dancing Princesses, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Goose Girl, Princess and the Pea, The Pied Piper, Puss in Boot, and Three Little Pigs.  Follow,Follow can be enjoyed for its beautiful illustrations and witty poems, but it also makes for insightful and entertaining exploration opportunities of literacy and performance in the classroom.  I recommend this book for ages 7 and up. 

One of my favorites is a nice contrast between traditional and modern views of women and love: “The Little Mermaid’s Choice.”

For love,                                           You’ll never catch me
give up your voice.                             playing
Don’t                                                “Catch him.”
think twice.                                       You can’t
One the shore,                                   be docile
be his shadow.                                   in the unruly sea.
Don’t                                                Keep your home.
keep your home                                 Don’t
in the unruly sea.                               be his shadow
Be docile.                                          on the shore.
You can’t                                           Think twice!
catch him                                           Don’t
playing                                              give up your voice
"You'll never catch me."                          for love.

For other great poetry selections from around the blog-o-sphere, check out Think, Kid. Think.



  1. Oh my. "Ready, Steady, Go!" is awesome.

    I'll be buying this one. Thanks for posting.

  2. I love Marilyn Singer's reversos...thanks for sharing!

  3. I can see why "The Little Mermaid's Choice" appealed to you! I've read Mirror, Mirror a lot -- thanks for showing us this one

  4. The Little Mermaid one is fabulous. That was always one of my favorite fairy tales, even though Disney kind of wrecked it.

  5. I love poetry and this sound so good. 12 Dancing Princesses is one of my favorites. Great illustrations. I look forward to checking this out!

  6. Thanks everyone for stopping by. :)


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