I bought the poetry book Joyful Noise by Paul Fleischman when I was a teenager. I also bought it a few other times, in subsequent years, and gave it as gifts to kids. I don’t know if anybody ever really enjoyed it like I did, but for all this time, I have looked forward to showing my kids these poems, and teaching them how to recite them together. I guess I could have started earlier — it took me a while to get to it.
But it was the right time. They took to it very quickly and really loved it. Aside from a few pronunciation flubs, I consider this a full performance — and it’s literally only the fourth time they’d ever read the poem.
They had decided together to do the sort of folksy musical intro and outro. Béla had made a decision in the first read-through to play his worker bee like Prince John from, of course, The Lion in Winter. What a great job of it he did. I am so proud of them both and can’t wait to see if they move on to other poems, or continue to hone this one, but they really loved this! And it was a dream come true for me. A real dream come true.