Poems for two voices or more can be a lot of fun for kids to tackle. With these two voice children's poetry books, as well as one with four voice poems, children will gain a new appreciation for poetry and the spoken word. Reading poems for two voices or poems for four voices can help children enhance fluency in reading aloud. They will enjoy working together as they dramatically read aloud the poems. Three of the children's poetry books are by Paul Fleischman; the other, by Mary Ann Hoberman, is part of a series of children's poetry books of story poems for two voices.01of 04
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two VoicesHarperCollins
The entertaining sounds of insects fill these poems by Paul Fleischman, making Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices a favorite with nine 14-year-olds. These poems were written to be read aloud by two readers with, according to Fleischman, “the two parts meshing as in a musical duet.”
Paul Fleischman received the John Newbery Medal for young people's literature for Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices in 1989. Other recognition included: Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book, Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts (NCTE), New York Public Library's "One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing" an ALA Notable Children's Books list.
Eric Beddow's artwork, full-page, detailed pencil illustrations, are dramatic and effective complements to the poetry, which brings insects to life when read aloud by two voices. (HarperCollins, 1988. Hardcover ISBN: 0060218525, Paperback edition, 2005. ISBN: 9780064460934) The book is also available in e-book format.02of 04
You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Stories to Read Together
Poet Mary Ann Hoberman is the author of the picture book You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Stories to Read Together, which includes the joyful illustrations of Michael Emberley. The contains very short story poems for two people to read aloud, alternately and together. Each of the 12 stories for eight 12-year-olds features rhythm, rhyme, and repetition, as well as humor and an emphasis on the joys of reading.
You Read to Me, I'll Read to You is one of a series of story poems by Mary Ann Hoberman, with illustrations by Michael Emberley. Others in the You Read to Me, I'll Read to You series include: You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Fables to Read Together, You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together, You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Scary Tales to Read Together, and You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Mother Goose Tales to Read Together.
All the book are designed to be read aloud by two people, as if, says Hoberman, it's "a little play for two voices." The two people can be an adult and a child or two children. (Little Brown & Co., 2001. ISBN: 9780316363501; 2006, Paperback edition, ISBN: 9780316013161) Read my review of You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Stories to Read Together.03of 04
Big Talk: Poems for Four Voices
Poems for four voices are much more challenging to present than poems for two voices, but middle school students tend to relish the challenge. The three-story poems in Big Talk: Poems for Four Voices, “The Quiet Evenings Here,” “Seventh-Grade Soap Opera,” and “Ghosts' Grace” will appeal to middle schoolers. The author, Paul Fleischman, provides a clear description of how to use the book. The poems are color-coded to make them easier for the four readers to keep track of their parts. (Candlewick Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780763606367; 2008, Paperback edition, ISBN: 9780763638054)04of 04
I Am Phoenix: Poems for Two Voices
The fifteen poems for two voices in I Am Phoenix: Poems for Two Voices are all about birds, from the Phoenix and albatross to sparrows and owls. Ken Nutt's soft pencil illustrations complement the poems by Paul Fleischman. The words of each poem are in two columns, each to be read by one person, sometimes individually, sometimes together. I recommend it for upper elementary and middle school students. (Harper & Row, 1985. ISBN: 9780064460927; 1989, Paperback edition, ISBN: 9780064460927) The book is also available in e-book format.