Thursday, March 8, 2018

Echo Echo (Marilyn Singer)

TitleEcho Echo: Reverso Poems about Greek Myths               

Author:  Marilyn Singer

Illustrator:  Josee Masse

Target Ages:  6 and up

Genre:  Poetry Collection

Publisher Summary:
There are two sides to every story—especially the Greek myths.  From Perseus and Medusa to Arachne and Athena, gods and mortals rarely see eye-to-eye.

In this third collection of ingenious reverso poems, Marilyn Singer brings classic myths to new and vivid life.  When read from topic to bottom, each poem tells a well-known story from a world of heroes and monsters.  When read in reverse, however, the very same words convey a whole new point of view!

Sample Poems (Click on Picture for a Larger View):

I am a fan of the first two reverso poetry collections by Singer.  I also love ancient Greek history and mythology.  This book appealed to my many loves! 

The poems are fantastic.  The illustrations are a stunning wonder.  I love the rich golds and blues with splashes of red and green.  Each picture captures multiple perspectives. 

Echo Echo is an engaging and memorable read. 

Activities and Extension Ideas for Lesson Plans:
  • Literature:  Add these poems to a study of Greek myths or use them as a springboard to read some myths. 
  • Point of View:  Discuss how there can be different points of view to the same event.  Make observations about the characters—their perspectives, background, motivations, and such. 
  • Grammar:  Study how punctuation (and even word placement in relation to poetry) changes the meaning of a text. 
  • Poetry:  Try to write a reverso for a Greek (or other cultural) myth not already covered in the book.
  • History:  Read about ancient Greece and the Greek gods for a better understanding of the context of these poems.
  • Origin Stories: Distinguish the stories that give an origin of something (spiders, seasons, daffodil flowers, evil in the world).  Teach about how the Greeks and other ancient people made up stories to understand what was incompressible at the time.  
  • Writing:  Write (or draw a picture and tell orally) an origin story for something in nature or happens naturally.
  • Visual Texts:  Study the illustrations.  Evaluate how they convey the different perspectives.
  • Connections: With such so many concise mythological retellings, it would be easy to look for connections and patterns. For instance, identify common motifs like pride, heroism, family, love, courage, and so forth.  Group character types--heroes and villains, gods and mortals--and character qualities--prideful, competitive, brave, sacrificial, selfish,and such.
Literary Connections:
Arachne and Athena
King Midas
Perseus and Medusa
Bellerophon and Pegasus
Narcissus and Echo
Pygmalion and Galatea
Theseus and Ariadne
Icarus and Daedalus
Melanion and Atalanta
Demeter and Persephone
Eurydice and Orpheus

Historical Connections:
Ancient Greece

Visit Today's Little Ditty for the Poetry Friday Round Up.

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  1. Marilyn Singer's reverso poems are so enchanting, and "stunning" is the perfect word for Josee Masse's illustrations. Thanks for highlighting this collection today!

  2. It is a favorite of Marilyn's books, that she took the stories and created new ideas to contemplate and in the reverso form is an amazing compliment. Thanks for reminding about this wonderful book!

    1. I can't decide on my favorite. They are all so wonderful! :)

  3. Love Marilyn's reverso poems. Thanks for spotlighting this book today!

  4. I love this book for many of the same reasons you do! It's exquisite. If you're interested, here's my interview with Marilyn about writing it:

    1. Thank you for the link. I will check out that interview.

  5. I am awed by Marilyn's talent with reverso poetry. I have tried my own, but it leaves me feeling it's incomplete. I like how your plans for using it.

  6. I am not familiar with reversal poems and this book certainly is a stunning introduction! I love the poetry and the magnificent illustrations!

    1. I think you would enjoy them. Her other titles are Mirror Mirror and Follow Follow.

  7. My daughter has had a strong interest in Greek Mythology. This book would be a splendid present for her. Thank you for sharing this gem of book. I'm curious about reversal poems, I've never heard of them, but I'm going to read up on them.

    1. She will love this book then. I hope you get a copy.

  8. Oh wow! Such cool poems! I've never seen anything like that.

  9. I love her Reverso books. They are amazingly and deceptively hard, but she does a great job.

  10. Writing a reverso poem is something that I haven't been able to do, it takes a certain kind of patience and cognitive skill that I don't have. But, I like reading them and I'm thankful for those who are clever enough to invent such forms.

  11. I love writing reverso poems....I mean I LOVE it. There's something very satisfying about getting the words to work just so. I don't have this book in my library yet.....but this is one that I must have. Thanks for the look at it.

  12. This is my favorite of Singer's reverso books!

  13. I remember this myth - and what a cool way to work into story by using a type verse that "echoes" back

  14. Greek myths have always been my favorite, and this looks neat.

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Aren't these about the most intriguing of poems?!

  16. This is a lovely book, I've had it out of the library, thanks for sharing it!

  17. Im no expert, but I believe you just made an excellent point. You certainly fully understand what youre speaking about, and I can truly get behind that. busker

  18. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. cinema


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