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Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,090 Ratings  ·  454 Reviews
Written to be read aloud by two voices—sometimes alternating, sometimes simultaneous--here is a collection of irresistible poems that celebrate the insect world, from the short life of the mayfly to the love song of the book louse. Funny, sad, loud, and quiet, each of these poems resounds with a booming, boisterous, joyful noise.

In this remarkable volume of poetry for two
Paperback, 64 pages
Published January 4th 2005 by HarperCollins (first published 1988)
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The Giver by Lois LowryHoles by Louis SacharA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleNumber the Stars by Lois LowryBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Most Deserving Newbery
45th out of 95 books — 2,498 voters
The Giver by Lois LowryA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleHoles by Louis SacharNumber the Stars by Lois LowryBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Newbery Medal Winner Books
45th out of 95 books — 295 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jun 23, 2009 Malbadeen rated it it was amazing
As a literacy Coach, I am constantly being told about and asked for resources that will address specific components of reading.

It saddens and frustrates me when awesome books like this one are overlooked while dry/mundane/BORING "fluency" programs are being passed around and sucked up like pixie sticks at a pre-schoolers birthday party.

These poems are soooooo cool and interesting and fun. You can not help but to sound great as a readers when performing them with a parner. One of my favorite mom
Dec 11, 2014 Tom rated it liked it
This book bugged the hell out of me.
Mary Ward
Feb 03, 2012 Mary Ward rated it really liked it
Shelves: eced221
Paul Fliechman's book Joyful Noise is a collection of poems meant to be read by two voices. The collection of poems focuses on the theme of insects such as digger wasps, honey bees, and fireflies. Each poem is describes the life of the particular insect through creative rhythm. I enjoyed this book. Although I read it in my head, using my imagination to predict how the author envisioned the two voices to read the poems, I found each poem lively. If performed appropriately, I can almost guarantee ...more
Esther Barajikian
Feb 29, 2012 Esther Barajikian rated it really liked it
"Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices," is a Newbery Medal winning collection of poems written by Paul Fleischman. This whimsical compilation of verses that are designed to be read to two readers simultaneously, tells about the characteristics and activities of several interesting insects. The illustrations by Eric Beddows are beautiful pencil drawings that present the various characters soaring, spinning, and creeping amongst the pages.

I rated the book with 4 stars because it was a delightful cha
Tani Griffin
Feb 26, 2012 Tani Griffin rated it did not like it
Shelves: engl-420-2012
This is a group of poems about insects, meant to be read aloud by two readers. I thought that sounded quite fun, and even began to imagine using this book in the classroom. Until I actually tried it out. My husband and I read some, a sixteen-year-old friend read a few with me. And we were all terribly bored; I had to insist we read them all. The writing is simply not even interesting. My husband called it "apathetic melodrama." I've rarely been more happy for a book to be done.
Picked this up in my quest to read more Newbery winners. Also, I needed a poetry book for my reading challenge.

I am not much of a poetry person, generally, but I really enjoyed this book. The poems are thoughtful and clever and I'm sure they sound awesome read aloud.
Michael Scotto
Nov 09, 2013 Michael Scotto rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, newbery
There is something
about a book that
demands to be
enjoyed with a friend.enjoyed with a friend.
Nov 07, 2015 Dominic rated it it was amazing
"Book lice! / We are book lice!"

It is always a "joyful noise" when I hear my three year old son recite lines from the chapter books we read together the night before. It's fascinating to hear what sticks in that powerful engine of a brain of his.

Paul Fleischman's book of poetry is notorious and for good reason. The "poem for two voices" has been a genre I've used over and over again in my classroom, and I'm pretty sure Fleischman is the creator of this poetic form. I'm pleased to have finally re
Grace Kim
Apr 24, 2016 Grace Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Joyful Noise is written for two voices-- sometimes talking together and sometimes talking separately. The collection of poems portray the noises and characteristics of different insects such as grasshoppers, whirligig beetles, and water boatmen.

This fun collection of poems can be read in reading to help students with fluency and with reading with expression. Joyful Noise can also be implemented in a science class when learning about insects. Although the poems are not the same as informational
Apr 30, 2009 Suzette rated it it was amazing
I haven't read these poems since I was in college, and I love them! I am in awe at the cleverness of Fleischman, to write for two voices. You can practically hear both voices in your head as you read them. I also listened to them on CD and that was a great thing, as well. This is some good poetry!
Debbie Reiber
Mar 08, 2013 Debbie Reiber rated it it was amazing
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman is a book of poems. This book won the John Newberry medal in 1989. The age group this book is intended for is intermediate. The book is full of poems about insects and is meant to be read by two readers. I listened to the audio version and followed along with the book.
I like the two voices together in harmony; I, especially, enjoyed when the lines were in rounds. The rhythm in the reading was expressed well with two voices, but also showed on
Evan Taylor
“Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen during the moment.” -Carl Sandburg

I strongly believe that poetry is to be read aloud and not in silence and solitude. Paul Freishman’s Joyful Noise is created for this type of reading. The book is laid out so that two people can read through the poem together, there is no poem in this book that is made for one person to read silently by themselves. On each page the stanzas have been broken up
Apr 04, 2013 Nathan rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, children
Have you ever sat outside at dusk, far away from the city lights, and soaked in the sounds of nature? The insect serenade is calming, a kind of joyful noise in its own right.

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices is a collection of 14 poems about insects - from grasshoppers and fireflies to house crickets and book lice. They are meant to be read simultaneously by "Two Voices" in verse that always compliments and frequently overlaps.

I have a daughter who loves to read poetry and we had a great time r
Brandi Smith
Apr 15, 2012 Brandi Smith rated it really liked it
This collection of poetry won the Newbery Award in 1989. It's audience spans from birth to age 18(N-A). Each poem is about a different insect and divided into columns so that it can easily be read by two people.
I was immediately drawn to the idea of two people reciting a poem together. I thought it might be something fun to do with my 3 year old, and, with that in mind decided to review this book. The collection is very cohesive. The illustrations, while beautifully detailed do not, in my opinio
Dec 23, 2014 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: newbery-medal
I read this book with my sister (we're both adults). It was well-written, interesting, and often humorous. The best part for me, though, was laughing out loud as we reached the end of a poem, were tongue twisted by a dissonant verse, or achieved a particularly tricky passage. This book definitely produces joyful noise!!
Dec 29, 2014 Kerri rated it really liked it
A fun collection of poems. The two voices is something I haven't seen before (I don't think) but it is interesting. It adds to the rhythm and the feel of the poems in unique ways.
Alix Mckee
Oct 12, 2014 Alix Mckee rated it liked it
This is a great book to use when studying poetry but really demands to be read aloud by two voices. It just doesn't work as a silent read or done by oneself.
Kelly Walter
Dec 14, 2014 Kelly Walter rated it it was amazing
This is just one of those books that is plain happy. I have dreams about this book. I want to buy it and teach my future children to read with it. I want them to not only learn words, but the music of words with me while reading this book. I want them to feel its rhythm. Because it can't be read properly without two people that are on the same page with each other. And when it's done well, then wow. THAT is a beautiful piece of music. I guess I'm just dreaming that someday when I'm a grandma, th ...more
Jenifer Harrington
May 27, 2016 Jenifer Harrington rated it it was amazing
This book is remarkable. Why is it not in every child's library! The teamwork and chance to dance the words out, makes me smile.
Melissa Coyle
A delightful way to learn about bugs through poetry!
Dec 08, 2015 Nora rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Joyful Noise is a collection of poems about insects and nature, meant to be read in two voices. These poems read sometimes in alternating voices, or two at the same time, echo the unity within the insect world. When two people read one of these poems, it really does bring to mind to moths in flight, or two skimmers across the water. The language and style contribute to the theme in every stanza. I will admit that in first reading, I struggled with the structure. Although it is clear in the forma ...more
Emily Uebel
Apr 29, 2015 Emily Uebel rated it really liked it
This is a poem book where two people are supposed to read the left side and right side at the same time. It is stated that in the begging of the book that when their two parts mesh it is a musical duet, and when readers have lines at the same horizontal level those lines are spoken simultaneously. I think this is a great book for kids eight and older and is a great way for readers to get familiar with poems and how they rhyme which is why I believe it won the Newberry Medal. Also, this book teac ...more
Summer Hemphill
Feb 23, 2015 Summer Hemphill rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
While Joyful Noise by Paul Fleischman came off as a meaningful and passionate read, I do not believe that this book will be well receipted by young readers. The complicated structure of the words on the page made it difficult to read and follow. Also, while the illustrations (by Eric Beddows) are elaborate and impressive, they lack character. The literal sense of insects in which the illustrations are drawn add no element of excitement or joy to the poems that follow them.

While the words that Fl
Samantha Powley
Oct 20, 2014 Samantha Powley rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Joyful Noises by Paul Fleischman, is a collection of poems about different types of insects. Some of the insects talked about are mayflies, butterflies, and many more. These poems share all kinds of emotions from happy to sad to even humor. The poem I enjoyed the most was the poem titled Honeybees. It is about the life of a worker honeybee and then the life of the queen honeybee. Each honeybee tell what’s it like to be them and all the work they do. The worker honeybee has it harder than the que ...more
Irina Ryabyy
Oct 06, 2014 Irina Ryabyy rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Joyful Noise by Paul Fleischam and illustrated by Eric Beddows is a Newberry Medal book that is to be read aloud by two voices. It has received the ALA Notable Children's Book Award, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Boston Globe- Horn Book Award Honor Book, and Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts. One reader takes the left-hand part and the other takes the right hand part and read from top to bottom. This collection contains cute poems about insects like grasshoppers, mayflies, fireflies ...more
May 06, 2014 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poems
Joyful Noise is a collection of 14 poems, each about a different insect. The poetry, accompanied by illustrations evokes the emotions of each bug, bringing their personalities’ to life. It is subtitled Poems for Two Voices reflects the format of each poem; written in two columns making them perfect for two readers.

The natural rhythms and emotions evoked by the words, clearly places this book into the genre of poetry. These poems allow the reader to create images of the insects from a perspectiv
Eliza Thomas
Mar 16, 2014 Eliza Thomas rated it it was amazing

"Joyful Noise" is a collection of poems written for two people to read aloud. All of the poems are about insects and provide interesting information in short stanzas. To use this book for instruction, I could put a copy of one of the poems on the projector. I could first model to the class how to read it using a volunteer, and then have the whole class read one part while I read another. This model of instruction allows all students to participate in the reading without making any one stud
Mar 26, 2014 Claire rated it liked it
listened to Joyful Noise on audiobook, because I think the author intended audiences to listen rather than read. The audiobook was fun - the duality of talented voice actors was bouncy and interesting. It was accompanied by bug sounds. The audiobook was paired with a second poetry book of Paul Fleishmann's similar content I Am Phoenix , but about birds rather than bugs. If you enjoyed Joyful Noise, I recommend I Am Phoenix as it's essentially the same. I can imagine these books are both popular ...more
Aug 04, 2012 Erin rated it really liked it
This is a really beautiful collection of poems. The rhythms bring the insect subjects to life and benefit from being read aloud by two voices. Some, such as Book Lice, are humorous, while others, such as Digger Wasp, which begins "I will never see my children," appeal to our human senses. The lovely imagery Fleischman creates and Beddows's wonderful illustrations work together well to honor these little winged and/or six-legged creatures.
Kristine Mathias
Mar 31, 2014 Kristine Mathias rated it really liked it
This is a great book for elementary aged children. It is full of poems that tell a story. They don't necessarily rhyme which I like because so many children's books make it seem that poetry must rhyme. The author uses colorful language that helps to enhance a child's vocabulary and will hopefully provoke them to ask questions about what it means. All of the poems in the book are about insects and each poem has tone that matches each insect it is discussing. Grasshoppers is one of my favorites in ...more
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honey bee poem 2 79 Feb 01, 2012 12:20PM  
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Paul Fleischman grew up in Santa Monica, California. The son of well-known children's novelist Sid Fleischman, Paul was in the unique position of having his famous father's books read out loud to him by the author as they were being written. This experience continued throughout his childhood.
Paul followed in his father's footsteps as an author of books for young readers, and in 1982 he released
More about Paul Fleischman...

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