Cool Head Luke and Other Stories by Jennifer Lasker White

 

Coolhead LukeTween Coolhead Luke: and Other StoriesJennifer Lasker White; BookSurge Publishing 2007WorldCat

Colin White, illustrator

Review is by Molly

Entertaining and packed with excitement the compilation offered on the pages of Coolhead Luke is intended for the middle grade reader. Writer White is a media consultant who strings words together for pleasure. In the back of the volume she incorporate a Glossary of expressions relating to poetry along with a collection of optional questions for teachers to use with groups of children.

Laughable compositions having titles which include Coolhead Luke, Ebenezer Nooze, and The Eyes Have It set the tone for this work of verses and whimsical imagery. While aboard the Freaky Bus the reader will meet Old Baldy Bob, whose nose is gigantic, Stretch Joe whose neck is eight feet tall or so, as well as Bewildered Bill and Eraser Head McGee. Other verse lead the reader to a serpent hat, the King of Mud or even a cuddly Cyclops.

The commencement of the book includes the writer’s notes to parents as poet White explains how at an early age her illustrator son Colin was interested in faces. Even as a very young toddler Colin started to become aware of faces in the outlines on curtains or leaves on trees. He began sketching faces at age two.

As his depictions progressed the writer noticed the representation seemed to have a tale to tell, thus the stanzas to go together with the illustrations was born.

Professor Bickle, we realize is in a pickle for the reason that he has a mouse who is fickle. A Motley Three is made of up of she, he and me. We have Lunch with the Mussies. And, we discover, nothing upsets Coolhead Luke.

Illustrator White is an upper middle grade student in Massachusetts where he goes on with producing drawings and other art work.

In concert, the White team of Mother and son, have created a characteristic and thought-provoking anthology of verse and art.Writer White tells the reader that the drawings set down on the pages of Coolhead Luke were fashioned by Colin when he was ten years old.

I have found my own class of students take pleasure in poetry. I like the addition of the glossary explaining Haiku, Rhyming Couplets, Rhyme Scheme and Structure along with Limericks. Following the glossary are helpful suggestions telling how to locate some of the poetic forms in the works offered on the pages of the book.

While my First Grade students are a bit young to truly understand the whimsy found in Illustrator Whiteâ’s work, they do take pleasure in the tempo and pulse of the poems themselves as they listen while I read the verses aloud. We often sing My Country Tis of Thee as one element of our daily opening exercise and after I read Coolhead Luke are learning to sing My Country’s Teeth I See for the fun of it.

Target audience is middle grade and older readers. Interesting work produced by Mother and son White family members, happy to recommend for the personal pleasure reading collection, as well as classroom, school and public library collections.

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