Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices” as Want to Read:
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  10,109 ratings  ·  743 reviews
From the Newbery Medal-winning author of Seedfolks, Paul Fleischman, Joyful Noise is a collection of irresistible poems that celebrates the insect world.

Funny, sad, loud, and quiet, each of these poems resounds with a booming, boisterous, joyful noise.

The poems resound with the pulse of the cicada and the drone of the honeybee. They can be fully appreciated by an individua
Paperback, 64 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by HarperCollins (first published March 1st 1988)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Joyful Noise, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Joyful Noise

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,109 ratings  ·  743 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices
Elyse  Walters

This is a $1.99 Kindle special today -- I have no idea where the book is now -- I 'think' my older daughter still has it. Honestly -- "dozens and dozens" of times --we read this book --acted out the poems together........... It was a BIG TIME FAVORITE BOOK in our house when my kids still lived at home. I haven't thought of this book since the 'last' time (years ago too) --when a Goodreads friend brought it up.
Although a great Kindle deal -- The hardcopy is LOVELY!! (small) --but lovely!!
Jun 23, 2009 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
A precious book of poetry to be enjoyed by children AND adults.

I'm seeing the insect world in a different way.

5 stars
Michael Scotto
Nov 09, 2013 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.
Elisabeth Ensor
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My son asked to read with me, he said "remember when I was first learning to read and you would read a page and then I would read a page?" and I happened to pick up this book from the library! I love to select award winning books if I don't have any books requested to pick up. We read line beside line and loved this book! what a brilliant idea, the poetry is so beautiful and several I have gone back to read again, you will never see bugs the same again! Great homeschool read for any age, my son ...more
Dec 11, 2014 rated it liked it
This book bugged the hell out of me.
Esther Barajikian
Feb 29, 2012 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
3.5 out of 5

Paul Fleischman’s poems about the (extra)ordinary lives of various insects throughout the seasons (beginning with spring) are funny, smart, playful, evocative, AND informational. Bonus points: these poems are meant to be read by two voices simultaneously, so grab a friend and enjoy! If the poems are read as intended, you can literally hear the joyful cacophony of the buzzing, chirping grass field.

Eric Beddows’s humorous and detailed black-and-white pencil illustrations are equally lo
Cari Nolt
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book of poetry is stunning and funny. Make sure you read the poems with another person, and you might start feeling like a bug.
Mary Ward
Jan 27, 2012 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
Apr 21, 2009 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! ...more
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.
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read Aloud 10 yrs +
Independent Reader 14 yrs +

Worldview - Universally Acceptable


This delightful poetry book is followed by Paul Fleishman’s later book I am Phoenix. The poems are written to be read by two people at times in unison, at others times taking turns.

Each poem is a brief and manageable length so that children should have no problem polishing the poem and being able to read it fluidly within one week. The vocabulary included is simple and easy to read, but the skill and read
Martha Bizzell
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
How clever this book is! Have you ever read a book in tandem with another reader? I begged my family to read Fleischman's Joyful Noise with me! Yes, to begin with it was a struggle, but once we got going -- how cool! This book is a collection of poems about insects. They come alive through the masterfully paired and unpaired reading of the poem designed for two voices. The fireflies: flitting, flickering, flashing... glimmering, gleaming, glowing... insect calligraphers... come to life as the po ...more
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
Tani Griffin
Feb 26, 2012 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.
Nov 05, 2015 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
Kelly Peay
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Paul Fleischman. Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices (1988). The note page instructs the reader that these poems should be read out loud by two people simultaneously. One reader should take the right-hand side, and the other the left-hand side. I skipped over this page, after appreciating the lovely drawing of a praying mantis reading a book, just before the cover page. It wasn’t until I tried reading the first poem, “Grasshoppers”, and not being sure if I should be reading right to left, or top ...more
Abby Brown
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is soooo precious! I've never seen interactive poems like this. I read it to some children that I babysit and it was such a fun time. The illustrations are beautiful and the content of the poems are simple yet striking. Love this one, tucking it away for future use! ...more
Debbie Reiber
Feb 10, 2013 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
Surely one of the most unique of the Newbery Medalists, Joyful Noise is a delightful albeit bizarre selection.

The book is written in poems, although not in the normal sense. These poems about insects are designed to be read aloud by two people; if performed by people who really get into it, Fleischman's work comes to life. Some of the selections are delightful to simply read; my favorite was definitely "Book Lice," though I also liked "Honeybees" and "Fireflies." The poems feature beautiful ima
Mar 04, 2013 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 13, 2012 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
Grace Kim
Apr 24, 2016 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
Kaitlyn Cantrell
Summary: This was a book of poems about insects. It talks about how they are related and involved in the lives of humans. It has many insects such as fireflies, moths, and grasshoppers.
Evaluation: I thought this book was a cool look into how you can imagine insects' lives. My favorite insects were the book lice. The book lice talked about different parts of the book and genres they "ate."
Teaching Idea: In my 4th grade placement, we worked on connections. Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, and Text-to-
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a fun, funny, different take on poetry for kids. I really enjoyed it!
Jennifer Mangler
I love the idea of poems for two voices. Doing read alouds with a book like that would be a lot of fun, and it's a way into a discussion about how there can be different views of the same thing. But this book just doesn't do it for me. Perhaps it's the subject matter. I'm not a bug person, and I really don't want to read about or think about book lice. Ick! I did love the two voice poem about bees a lot, though. It's quite thought-provoking and beautiful. I chose to read this because it won the ...more
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
At the surface, this is just a collection of poems about insects. However, from the title itself, it says "Poems for two voices" because there are two poems that were supposed to be read simultaneously for each title. At first, reading a physical book while voicing them out in my mind, I like it so much that I wondered how would it sound if two people actually read them out loud? I listened to a sample from Scribd and it did sound a lot better! My favourite is Book Lice.

It's a new experience to

Amanda Himes
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This morning Audrey and I read some of Fleischman's insect poems aloud to Elinor while waiting for the school bus to arrive. They are difficult to read (and it is easy to slip over into the other person's column of words) and we both stumbled with the timing of words we were to speak when they were different from the other's. Elinor wasn't as impressed as we had hoped. Still, his collection is marvelous: my favorite poem is the last one, "Chrysalis Diary." I can't wait to read this one with my c ...more
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Joyful Noise by Paul Fleischman is a poetry book about 14 different kinds of insects, mostly ones that can fly. The insects in this book in order are grasshoppers, water striders, mayflies, fireflies, book lice, the moth's serenade, water boatmen, digger wasps, cicadas, honeybees, whirligig beetles, requiem, crickets, and chrysalis diary. All of the poems contain information about the sounds the insects make, such as cicada songs. The idea that two people are supposed to read different lines at ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
poetry 1 1 Nov 25, 2019 01:20PM  
Poetry 1 1 Nov 09, 2019 07:10PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers
  • Lincoln: A Photobiography
  • Missing May
  • Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village
  • The Slave Dancer
  • The Matchlock Gun
  • The Whipping Boy
  • The Higher Power of Lucky (The Hard Pan Trilogy, #1)
  • Rabbit Hill
  • Criss Cross
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw (Leigh Botts, #1)
  • Up a Road Slowly
  • The Summer of the Swans
  • Secret of the Andes
  • The Midwife's Apprentice
  • Jacob Have I Loved
  • M.C. Higgins, the Great
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall, #1)
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

Essay collections offer a unique kind of reader experience, one that can be rewarding in a different way from novels or even other types of...
0 likes · 0 comments