I remember the first time I was introduced to the concept of palindromes. My sixth-grade teacher wrote on the board, “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.” She asked us what was unique about this phrase. We puzzled and thought, but no one could get it. Finally, she told us. “It’s a palindrome.”
Palindromes are words, phrases, or sentences which, if reversed letter by letter–ignoring punctuation, spaces, and capitalization–spell the exact same thing. Basically, each half of the palindrome is a mirror image of the other. For example, the name Hannah is a palindrome. Spell it backward and you still have Hannah.
I thought it would be fun the introduce my kids and their co-op class to palindromes, so I checked out some books on the subject. If your kids get into it, it’s a fun challenge to try and write your own.
Books About Palindromes
Mom and Dad are Palindromes by Mark Shulman–This book is a great introduction to palindromes for kids… in the form of a hilarious story!
Madam and Nun and 1001: What is a Palindrome? by Brian P. Cleary--This book is a rhyming introduction to palindromes in the Words Are Categorical series.
Books of Palindromes
If you think writing one palindrome is hard (and it is), imagine writing three books of them! That’s just what author Jon Agee has done in Palindromania!, So Many Dynamos!, and Sit on a Potato Pan, Otis!. Each palindrome is illustrated with a line drawing, and most of them are pretty funny. My son couldn’t get enough of these books.
I love Marilyn Singer’s reverso poems, and they have a lot in common with palindromes. The difference is her poems reverse line by line to form a new meaning. She has written three books of these clever poems. Mirror Mirror and Follow Follow are fairy tale retellings. Echo Echo features reverso poems about Greek myths. You can read my full review HERE.