Published in 1988, Paul Fleischman's Joyful Noise also contains a poem about the water boatmen bugs. Who knew they were a popular subject for children's poetry? Not me. Fleischman's book about insects consists of poems for two voices; in fact, it won the Newbery Medal.
The poems are gently humorous, whimsical, and full of a rich vocabulary. The small, subtle black and white illustrations were made in pencil by Eric Beddows. In many ways Joyful Noise is a quiet book that doesn't need to call attention to itself with gussied-up graphics. I sense an inherent trust in the readers to discover the poems' pleasures for themselves.
Joyful Noise is for older children, aged nine to twelve, but if two grown-ups read these works to 5-8 year olds, I bet the kids would appreciate them. I may have to send a copy of "Chrysalis Diary" to Junior's teacher; his third-grade class is currently studying butterflies. Oh, and how could I forget? There's even a poem about book lice.
I've chosen Fleischman's "Water Boatmen" as today's Poetry Friday selection. I found the poem at the HarperCollins site, so click on the link to read it.
Whimsy Books rounds up the participants in Poetry Friday. I give props to our friend Ms. L. for recommending Joyful Noise. Incidentally, author Laura Purdie Salas wrote about Joyful Noise today, too. Love that Poetry Friday synchronicity!