On the Edge with Coolhead Luke:

Heather Kempskie, Editor in Chief, Parents & Kids Magazine: My favorite poetry book! I was absolutely delighted as soon as I opened to the first page. The poems are funny and witty and the illustrations by a young boy totally floored me. My book reviews are never complete until I try the books out on my own children. Thumbs up by them, too!

Wendy Thomas, What a fun and inventive ride On the Edge with Coolhead Luke takes you on. This book is a winner all around. In the Shel Silverstein style of fun and humor, each page opens up to a child-oriented poem that is cleverly illustrated by Colin White. The poems are perfect for young readers who adore Seuss-like cadence and the illustrations add a unique additional layer of understanding and fun to the text. This highly creative effort from team White makes this one very special and delightful book perfect for any young (or even older) reader who likes to laugh.

Lavanya Karthik, Bookpleasures: Whimsy meets wisdom in these short poems –   The Face of Time and The Metta Four, for instance, are gently didactic, while Misguided Fish Wish wryly describes a pet’s leap towards freedom.  Spike Speaks is a sweet ode to the friendship between a little boy and a pet straight out of an Edward Gorey drawing, while Invitation to a Ghoulfest is deliciously creepy, with a neat twist at the end. 

Ms. White’s verses explore a range of poetic and literary devices, each further explained in a very useful glossary at the end of the book. The layout is pleasantly minimalistic, with spare black and white drawings from talented young Colin, and is an effective complement to Ms. White’s playful verse. A visual and aural treat for every reader, young and old.

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 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! 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. I strongly recommend these two beautifully crafted poetry books by Jennifer and Colin White… what a great mom-son team!

Gayle Trent, I highly recommend it. Not only are the poems and illustrations funny and quirky, some are educational. Some of the themes address issues important to children. For example, I’m Waiting details the frustration a child feels when his peers grow and mature before he does. Endangered takes a mythical creature and puts it into a too-real situation. And Spike Speaks illustrates the lengths we must sometimes go to in order to make and keep a friend. If you have a child who likes poetry and/or a child who enjoys writing or drawing, this book would be an excellent gift.

Molly Martin, Midwest Book Review: Poet Jennifer White and her artist son, Colin, have again collaborated to produce another volume of illustrated poetry for the upper middle grade to young adult reading audience.  Whimsical artwork created by Colin White is sure to appeal to the target audience; as are the verses, rhymes and odes from the pen of bard Jennifer White.  A+ on both counts.

Wayne S. Walker,
I do find that good, classic poetry is fascinating, and this book was fun to read. Some of the poems encourage the development of good character. Coolhead Luke’s bravery when confronted by a cobra teaches us to face our fears and overcome them. Many of the poems can be used to teach language. I especially liked the one about the four daughters of Bob and Jane Metta and what was learned by the “Metta Four”. To help in presenting the mechanics of poetry, there are a glossary of terms and a guide for teachers and homeschooling parents in the back of the book, which I think most people should find both interesting and useful.

Coolhead Luke and Other Stories: 


Midwest Book Review: Entertaining and packed with excitement, the compilation offered on the pages of Coolhead Luke is intended for the middle grade reader. In concert, the White team of mother and son has created a characteristic and thought-provoking anthology of verse and art… happy to recommend for the personal pleasure reading collection, as well as classroom, school and public library collections.

Alice Berger, Bergers Book Reviews: What do you get when you team up a son who likes to draw faces with a mom who’s a whiz at poetry? Coolhead Luke, which combines the best of both. Most of these poems are written in some form of rhythmic meter, with some more unusual styles thrown in for fun. These are fun and well-written poems, with quirky and unique drawings accompanying them. I admire what Jennifer White and her son, Colin, have achieved in Coolhead Luke. Not only have they created an interesting work of literature, but they’ve also nurtured the creative bond between them. Now that’s about as cool as it gets!

Cynthia Clarke for Coolhead Luke is a unique and inspiring collection of poetry and art by a mother and her ten year old son. An addition which makes this book attractive as a home schooling resource is a thorough glossary to the mechanics of poetry and a teachers’ guide for using the book. But even more than this, “Coolhead Luke” is a wonderful example of a mother encouraging her son’s gift and discovering her own in the process. And if my own son’s giggles are any indication, the target age of 8 to 12 seems spot on!   

Mary Romaniec, national autism consultant: I read this book with my 8 year old son who LOVED it. The idea that this was written by a mother connecting to her son’s artwork is what clinched it. Something about that bond that speaks volumes.  

Leslie O’Flaherty, writer, poet, teacher : This is a great book! The illustrations by Colin White are original and sometimes profoundly insightful. The poems by his mother perfectly match the style, intent and wit of Colin’s art work. Although this book is fun for everyone, books of poems that boys love are few and far between. This one truly delights and inspires my 10 year old son. And that ain’t easy!

Ivan, author and poet:  Coolhead Luke is a fabulous collaborative effort between mother and son. The son’s wildly insightful drawings are perfectly matched by his mother’s lyrical verse-stories that delight with intelligence, insight, plain fun, and wise moral endings. This is a 5-star book for middle-school kids and every imaginable adult!

Tasha Halpert, author: Coolhead Luke is a very special children’s book for all ages. Jen White’s humorous verses beautifully highlight Colin’s original, entertaining drawings and at the same time teach important and meaningful lessons that children can easily absorb. Once you read this mother son collaboration with your child, you will want to buy books for all his or her friends, and so will your child!


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