Long listed for the Poetry Category of the North Somerset Teachers' Book Award
Book Title: Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths
Author: Marilyn Singer
Illustrator: Josee Masse
Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers, a part of the Penguin Young Readers Group
‘Ancient Greece: An age of marvellous myths, gone, but not forgotten. Heroes that rise and fall…How else to explain such wonders when the world was young?’
Echo Echo brings to life the myths of ancient Greece through ‘Reverso Poems’. The well known stories of Pandora, Perseus and Medusa, Midas and Theseus and the Minotaur; and the lesser known stories of Arachne & Athena, Bellerophon and Melanion and Atalanta are all retold in poetic form.
‘Reverso Poems’ are a form of poetry created by the author, Marilyn Singer, where two mirrored poems appear on each page, created to read from top to bottom and then again with the lines reversed. The only changes are capitalisation and punctuation. The effect is two poems written to be read from the perspective of two different characters or from the same character at a different point in time.
The poem about Midas and his daughter is written from the perspective of both characters- King Midas’s daughter speaks of the affection she dearly wants to receive from her father whereas King Midas mourns the loss of his beloved daughter as he finally reaches out to her and turns her to gold.
This book is cleverly written and beautifully illustrated. It is a fabulous resource for any classroom studying the myths of ancient Greece.
Readers will enjoy identifying and matching the poems with the mythical characters in the book and exploring the emotions and feelings of each story. With a wealth of further ancient Greek characters to explore, readers could write their own ‘Reverso Poems’.