Fairy tales are about reversals of fortune. A cinder-covered girl who cleans the hearth dons a gown and wins the prince. A pair of poor children goes into a forest and emerges with riches. But what about a poem that tells the points of view of both Sleeping Beauty and the “Wide-Awake Prince” who releases her from her spell? That’s what Marilyn Singer does with the poems in Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse, illustrated by Josée Masse.
British-born, Sydney-based collage artist and children’s author Jeannie Baker returns this fall with one of her most moving picture books to date. A day in the life of two families—one urban Australian, the other Moroccan villager—unfolds simultaneously in a uniquely designed pictorial brought to life by Baker’s vivid and intricate imagery and detail. Inspired by a holiday she took seven years ago in southern Morocco, the artist returned two years later to immerse herself in remote village life in the country’s storied Valley of the Roses. “I loved the differences I found between the Berber culture and mine,” says Baker. “What I see is the sheer richness of different nationalities and cultures, a richness that will no doubt diminish as our Western culture spreads. We really need to celebrate these differences and diversities while we can.”