1989: Joyful Noise (intersecting insects in verse)

VERDICT: Treasure

Sally’s Rating: 3/5

Paul Fleischman’s Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices is comprised of several playful poems that mimic the harmonious sounds of the insect world while giving insight into each bug’s life cycle.

This book does not particularly lend itself to being read by one person, unless you have double vision and can read two columns at the same time. To fully enjoy the verses, Joyful Noise should be read out loud with a friend, where they can appreciate how the two harmonies recreate the sounds of insects in the wild. Without a partner, the poems lose their unique sound as it becomes slightly difficult to line up the two verses in your head.

The two poems that stood out the most were the ones that told a humorous story about relationships in the bug world – Book Lice and Honeybees. Most of the other poems talked more about what insects do every day, but the way these two got across their tale was both funny and fully utilized that fact that some lines are spoken by the readers simultaneously while others are read alternately by the readers. Book Lice is about two lice that live in books and how they have different favorite authors while Honeybees compares the life of a queen bee to that of a worker bee with the lines intersecting very frequently despite the fact that they have very different outlooks on life.

Overall, Joyful Noise’s experimental style is a fun way to get children interested in poetry, as well as insects and science. Recommended for lovers of poetry and admirers of insects.

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