Saturday, April 16, 2011

Joyful Noise Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman

Who would have thought that insects had so many feelings? Grasshoppers, water striders, mayflies, and so many more insects having finally been able to find their voice through Paul Fleischman. This author created a story for each of the fourteen insects in the poetry book. Lovely phrases like, "Insect Calligraphers practicing penmanship," describes the firefly. I only remember these particular insects as smelling like peanut butter if they landed in your hand. But these, "Six-legged scribblers of vanishing messages, fleeting graffiti, Fine artists in flight," will definitely get more respect from me next time a warm night takes me outside.

Paul Fleischman was truely creative in the development of this book. He gives instructions on reading the poems on the note page located on the first few pages. Two people should be reading this book together. Lines are located on each page in two columns. One reader takes the left column and the other reader takes the right. Lines that are on the same line should be read simultaneously (sometimes the words are different so you can imagine the fun). And everything is read aloud.

Students would find this type of book so much fun to read. The material is light enough for all readers to enjoy (from young to old).

The illustrator, Eric Beddows, also played an integral part in this books understanding. Each chapter was titled the name of the insect being described. The illustration show the characteristics of the insect and the behaviors being explored. His black and white pencil drawings provided excellent detail to the insects delicate characteristics.

It turns out that Eric Beddows is really Ken Nutt. Eric Beddow is the combination of Ken Nutt's mom's middle name and last name.

My favorite depiction was the honeybee. The illustration showed the queen bee layed out on a Cleopatra Chaise lounge chair. The working bee's account of life is so exhausting compared to that of the spoiled queen. This poem would be the most fun to read with someone, it almost reminded me of a play.


  1. The Honeybee poem was one of my favorites as well. I enjoyed it because of the two different perspectives. I agree that the illustrator provided illustrations that showed excellent details of each insect.

  2. I am very excited to use these poems with my reading groups. I agree that childen will have fun with these poems. What a great way to engage children and also have them work with someone else.