top of page

Tackling Tough Truths in Picture Books with Christine Pakkala


In Emily Dickinson’s poem, she commands the reader to “Tell the truth but tell it slant.” Children must be “eased” into the concept of lightning, understanding it “with explanation kind.” As children’s book writers, do we agree with Dickinson? After all, isn’t it our instinct to protect children from a world filled with truths we adults have trouble comprehending? Or do we believe that children deserve to face and know about difficult realities such as climate change?


I would argue that the answer is somewhere in the middle, and by using craft techniques authors can address tough topics in our writing for children. Using a selection of recent picture books as examples, we will try out these craft techniques in a series of writing prompts, and last we will share our writing, discussing our challenges and successes.





Saturday, March 23, 2024



10:00-12:00 EST



For more info, call 203.227.3250 or email



Christine Pakkala is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop MFA. She was a Fulbright Scholar (1994) in Helsinki, Finland, where she translated modern Finnish poetry. She taught 7th and 9th grade English at Horace Mann and has published essays in Salon, BrainChild and Serendipity and is the 2013 winner of the Ladies Home Journal essay contest. She’s the author of Last-But-Not-Least Lola Going Green, which was the winner of the Santa Monica Public Library's Green Prize, and a novel for teens, Jasmine and Maddie, which was a VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocate) Top Shelf pick and a Bank Street Best Book.

Christine is working on a memoir and the first chapter of it will be published as an essay in "The Seventh Wave", an arts and literary magazine this fall.

Tackling Tough Truths in Picture Books with Christine Pakkala - HYBRID

SKU: S323w24
    bottom of page