Teachers – click here!

Reina O’Connor, middle school English teacher: “It’s not often that students, especially middle school students, ask their teacher to read poems from a selected book. It’s even more unusual when adolescents write in response, unsolicited, to poems they’ve been exposed to. With Coolhead Luke and Other Stories by Jennifer Lasker White and Colin White, I am batting 1000!

As an English teacher I am always on the lookout for engaging and entertaining poetry books, especially for boys. The entertaining illustrations and complementary poems in Coolhead Luke are delightful, charming and fun! Students relate to the ideas presented in the poems. In addition, the vocabulary that White uses in her poems is stimulating and challenging. I have created a variety of lessons using poems from this book to teach students different literary devices such as alliteration, personification, similes, metaphors and imagery. My students have responded very favorably to this book and lessons related to the poems. It doesn’t get much better than that!”


Coolhead Luke books are currently being used as a classroom resource in 3rd – 8th grade poetry units. We’ve included a glossary of poetry terms in the back of each book, as well as a guide for teachers with questions for students. The poems are great fun and the idea that the book was illustrated by a middle-school boy makes the Coolhead Luke series even more relevent to kids. Contact us at jenwhite@charter.net if you have any questions, or check us out on amazon.com.

Guide for Teachers from On The Edge With Coolhead Luke:

Can your students spot these literary devices?

  • There are two limericks in this book. Can you find them?
  • How is My Hat Did It an example of personification?
  • What are some of the similes used in The Changeling?
  • What is the central metaphor in The Metta Four?
  • How does the tone in No-operation compare to the tone in Happy Head?
  • Is Love at First Sight an ironic poem? Why?
  • Find examples of poems with these rhyme schemes:

                          AA BB CC DD

                          AAB, CCB, DDB…

                          ABAB, CDCD, EFEF…

  • How is The Face of Time an example of didactic poetry?
  •  What is the conflict in I’m Waiting?
  •  Is hyperbole used in I’m Not Angry? Is there a moral in the poem?
  •  Can you find a poem that makes use of the echo?
  •  How is the structure of Chef of the Opera different from the other poems?
  •  What is your favorite poem in this book? Why?

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