A splendid collection of poems in many moods about the lives and dreams of insects. Vivid language, strong images, and the masterful use of two voices in musical duet make this an excellent choice for reading aloud. A charming pair of book lice ("We're book lice/ fine mates/ despite different tastes") set up home in Roger's Thesaurus to be "close to his Horace" and the mysteries she enjoys. Fleischman captures the character of empty-headed water striders, single-minded water boatmen, and the serene queen bee with her complaining worker. More somber pieces include "Requiem," an elegy for the insects that have died in the first killing frost; and "The Digger Wasp," who laments "I will never/ see my children." Soft, elegantly detailed pencil drawings enhance the whole, with the book-reading praying mantises on the endpapers a special treat. A joyful noise that should find a wide audience.