Finding Homes in Words and Pictures: A Connections Workshop for Facilitators and Teachers with Jeannine Atkins

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This is a workshop we’ve long wanted to offer since our program features many picture books on universal themes of the humanities. On August 13 from 9:30 am to 12:45 pm at Manchester Community College, please come and meet Jeannine Atkins, author and instructor at the Eric Carle Museum, and go on a journey of discovery about these works of art and story we offer in Connections programs. Jeannine writes, “Writing one’s own story can be a good way to understand another’s.” She’ll offer some writing ideas, too, continuing the link to students’ own stories we began with New Voices.  

Some say that all books have one of two plots: Either someone is going on a journey or a stranger comes to town. As we look at examples of these narratives in a few picture books, I’ll suggest questions that may help readers find nuance and reflections of themselves in any book. We’ll consider words, illustration, and the ways they interact, creating tension or adding layers. Since every word matters in a short book, we’ll study tone and rhythms, and the way mood is set by color, perspective, and design elements, such as the placement of words and the effect of when we’re asked to turn a page. Understanding the choices of authors, illustrators, editors, and designers can take us deeper into books that show a variety of homes and journeys and what many have in common.  

JEANNINE ATKINS teaches in the Simmons MFA in Writing for Children program at the Eric Carle Museum. Her picture books include Aani and the Tree Huggers and Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon. Her most recent books are Stone Mirrors: The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis and Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science.

Manchester Community College, Room 300,
1066 Front Street, Manchester  Directions are here.
You’ll find on-site parking at the college. Please come to the main entrance of the main building. Turn right at the reception desk and follow the corridor past the student center on the left. Take the staircase before you to the next floor up. Walk down the hallway to the right. Toward the end, you’ll find Room 300.

Please register by emailing Terry Farish at

Illustration © Thi Bui from A Different Pond by Bao Phi