The Art of Reading Backwards: The Magic of Palindromes

The Art of Reading Backwards: The Magic of Palindromes

Have you ever tried reading words backwards? I tried it once when I was a kid. My name was Ilek. My cat’s name was Niffum backwards, and my favorite food was etalocohc. I went around saying words that no one else understood. It’s like I’m speaking my own language.

But then I came across some very surprising words that stayed the same when I read them backwards. “Dad” stayed Dad, and “Mom” stayed Mom, and even my friend Hannah stayed the same! I didn’t know it then, but I had discovered the very cool world of palindromes.

What is a palindrome?

Palindromes remain the same when you read them backwards or forwards. They can be words:




They can be phrases or sentences:

never odd or even

don’t nod

Was that a cat I saw?

Do Geese See God?

They can be numbers:



12:21 p.m

And some palindromes are even the same front, back, upside down, and upside down backwards:




Palindrome Magic Trick

Here’s a trick you can do to turn almost any number into a palindrome. First think of a number and write it down:


Then write that number on the back and add the two together:


+ 1423


In some cases it doesn’t work the first time. When that happens, just keep flipping and adding numbers until you get your palindrome:


+ 2794






Are you a palindromaniac?

Warning: palindromes can be addictive! Some people start looking for them everywhere and can go a little crazy in their quest to find palindromes.

You may be at risk of becoming a palindrome if you:

  • You have friends named Anna, Eve, Izzy, Otto or Bob.

  • Your favorite times of the day are 10:01, 11:11, 5:55, etc.

  • You love kayaking and have always wanted to drive a race car.

  • Your favorite car is Toyota.

Discover more

Fill your palindrome with these books and resources:

For small children: Mom and Dad are palindromesby Mark Shulman and Adam McCauley, or If you were a palindrome, by Michael Dahl. Both fun picture books are a great introduction for children to the world of palindromes.

For older children and adults: John Agee is the king of palindrome books like Go hang some salami, I’m a lasagna pigand Palindromania. Cartoon drawings are combined with goofy captions for good fun.

#Art #Reading #Magic #Palindromes

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