The Particular and Picky Eater
Includes A Do It Yourself Container Garden Activity
and Resource Guide!
Written by: Loren Rozakos Illustrated by: Courtney Thomas Layout by: Chelsea Brink
The Particular and Picky Eater
Written by: Loren Rozakos
This book is dedicated to all the particular
and picky eaters out there.
You are what you eat,
so eat something sweet
(try a peach!).
Table of Contents
Percival Perkins W
Food for Thought X
Do It Yourself Container Garden Y
Find It Yourself Fresh Foods Z
“Potato Chips?” Penny Potter, a fifth-grade student,
leaned over Percival Perkin’s left shoulder and peered
down into his powder blue lunch pail.
“I eat potato chips for lunch on Monday” said Percival.
“I see.” said Penny as she walked away pondering
to herself that potato chips are probably not the
healthiest choice for her pal, Percival.
“Are those fruit loops, Percy?” Penny said to Percival the
very next day at school, while passing by his packed lunch.
“Tuesday I eat fruit loops, but only the purple ones,”
said Percival Perkins resolutely.
“Of course you do,” Penny muttered as she walked away
feeling slightly perturbed.
“Gummy Worms!” proclaimed Penny on Wednesday at noon
time, “Percival Perkins that cannot be your entire lunch!”
“They taste sour,” explained Percival Perkins, “I like sour.”
“I quite understand,” said Penny feeling a little sour herself.
After lunch, Percival couldn’t sit still during silent reading
hour. He pulled Polly Pratt’s pigtails and he poked Pablo
with pencils. The sugar from the gummy worms made
him so frantic he couldn’t sit still. Worst of all, Percival’s
tummy began to ache. “This is positively painful!” Percival
pronounced and off to the see the school nurse he went.
After school that same day, Penny Potter began to speak.
“There is an old, but wise, expression that says we are
what we eat and in that case, Percy, you are a sour
gummy worm. Tomorrow I would like to show you
a special place designed for particular and picky
eaters like you.”
Thursday, Penny leaned over Percival Perkin’s left shoulder
and together they peered down into the rows of dark green
vegetable planted in the school garden. Fourth grade
students were tending to the broccoli, turnips, and romaine
and mustard greens. “Spinach,” protested Percival Perkins.
Patiently Penny smiled and said, “Yes, spinach, perhaps you
didn’t know Percival just a handful a week of spinach or any
other dark green vegetable planted in our garden will keep
your lungs healthy, make your bones stronger and give you
a smarter brain.”
Peeking at the orange section of the garden
Percival panicked as he saw the carrots and
pumpkins. Predicting a particular and picky
eater like Percival, Penny posed a question
to the student.
“Have you ever even tasted a carrot Percival?”
He paused, thought for a moment and said,
“I positively have not.”
Patiently Penny smiled and
said, “Perhaps you should know
Percival that just a bowl of these
vegetables will help your vision,
blood sugar control and also keep
your lungs healthy. They also
taste really pleasant!”
Puzzled Percival pondered the
thought that a vegetable might
As they walked back to Percival’s classroom Penny said,
“I would be very pleased to invite you to a very special
picnic in the school garden. See you tomorrow and
bring the rest of your class. “I’m not sure about this…”
said a perplexed Percival Perkins.
Walking home from school that day, Percival pondered
Penny’s words. He was sure that he would not want
to miss a picnic, but his lips pursed when he thought
about eating some of the vegetables Penny pointed out.
Pushing open the door upon arriving at home, Percival
walked directly towards the fruit bowl perched on
the kitchen counter. He observed the colorful green
grapes, yellow bananas and red apples. “Was Penny
possibly on point?” Percy pondered out loud.
Quickly, Percival pushed the thought out of his mind
and went out to play.
At lunchtime on Friday, Percival Perkins sat
patiently with his classmates at a large table
covered with a red checked table cloth ready
for a picnic. Penny welcomed the class to sit.
She presented two large platters covered with
perfectly polished lids.
Percival stared at the platters with uncertainty.
Penny smiled and removed the lid of the first
platter to reveal a rich hearty green spinach
salad with crisp white onions and crunchy
orange carrots—and a bright assortment of
ripe juicy fruit.
Lifting the second lid, Percival spied a zesty tostada
platter with black beans, yellow corn, and fresh red
tomatoes. At first, Percival was panicky, afraid to
try new foods. He took just one bite.
Percival was amazed at the rainbow of colors that
lay before him, such delicious food that came from
his school’s very own garden.
On the following Monday
Percival packed up his powder
blue lunch pail filled with
plump pieces of vegetables
served over brown rice. He
placed himself at the lunch
table in between pals and
Penny Pratt and pronounced
publicly “I am presently
pondering how passionate I am
Penny Pratt’s ears perked up
and responded, Percival, you
are no longer a particular and
picky eater, I am so proud of
As his mouth started to water,
Penny patted her favorite
particular and picky eater
on his head feeling perfectly
pleased. “Bon Appétit Percival!”
Food For Thought
Why is Penny concerned that Percy is eating
potato chips for lunch?
Why couldn’t Percy sit still during the silent
What do you think Penny meant when she said
“We are what we eat?”
Why do you think Percy was nervous about eating
the food at the picnic?
Why do you think Percy decided to pack his lunch
pail with vegetables the week after the picnic?
Taste The Rainbow
What color is your favorite fruit or vegetable?
What are all the different color fruits and vegetables
that you can think of?
Do It Yourself Container Garden
You can have a garden and try vegetables like Percival
and Penny! Here’s how:
1. Find an adult to help you--pick someone fun!
2. Pick a container to use. Be creative! What do you have sitting
around your house? An old bucket? A tub? A teapot? An old toy or
baskets? Any of these could work. Even recycled items like a juice
box or plastic bottle can be used for a container AND you’ll be helping
the environment. Be sure to ask your adult helper about which
container you should use.
3. Choose a plant that will work for you and your house. Ask
questions like: how much sunshine will it get? And how big is my
container? It’s also good to pick a plant that will grow a dwarf or
small plant. Turn the page to see a list of some good (container)
4. Prepare your container. Start by figuring out how the plant will
be able to drain excess water when you water it. If the container
you’ve chosen doesn’t have any holes, you’ll need to make them with
your adult helper. Be careful though, the holes can’t be too big or the
soil mixture may come out! If your container does have holes that are
big, you might try putting some rocks or newspaper in the bottom.
5. Next fill your container with a potting mix. Most plants need a
mix that helps it drain excess water. Sometimes just garden soil is
too heavy for container plants. Here’s a couple of options:
• 1/3 potting soil, 1/3 shredded peat moss, 1/3 perlite
• 1/3 potting soil, 2/3 compost or peat moss
6. Now you’re ready to carefully place your plant or seed in the
container. First, use your hand to make a hole for the plant that is
a little bigger than the pot it came in. Squeeze the pot a bit around
the sides to loosen and then gently take the plant out of the pot.
Take a look at the roots on the bottom, how do they look? Wiggle
them gently to loosen and then carefully place into your container.
Push the soil around your plant to cover and pat gently.
7. Now give your plant a bit of water and place it in an area with
lots of light.
8. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy! You can check by
sticking your finger into the soil a little bit and if it’s dry, then
you should water.
9. Watch it grow!
Good luck with your garden!
Adult Helpers: Please refer to the National Gardening Association’s kidsgardening.com for great
gardening tip and ideas! We did and their resource rich information is reprinted with permission by,
National Gardening Association/www.kidsgardening.org. In addition, Colleen Vanderlinden’s 15 Creative
Container Garden Ideas was another resource and some of her ideas are reprinted with permission by,
Do It Yourself Container Garden
Container Container Spacing Light Soil Depth
Vegetable Varieties Size (inches) Needed (inches)
Beans, Bush Tender Crop Medium 2 to 3 Sun 6
Beets Early Red- Medium 2 to 3 Sun 6
Carrots Minicor Small/ 1 Sun 8
Lettuce Minicor Medium 4 to 6 Partial 6
(any variety) Shade
Radish Royal Small 1 Partial 4
Tomato Sun Gold Medium Single Plant Sun 8
• SGA RESOURCE GUIDE •
Lincoln Square Farmers Market Daley Plaza Farmers Market
4700 N. Lincoln Ave. 50 W. Washington
Chicago, IL 60625 Chicago, IL 60602
Museum of Contemporary Art/Street- Willis Tower Plaza Farmers Market
erville Farmers Market 233 S Wacker Dr.
Chicago Ave. & Mies van der Rohe Chicago, IL 60606
Chicago, IL 60611 Saturday
Green City Market
Federal Plaza Farmers Market South end of Lincoln Park between
Adams St. & Dearborn St. Clark and Stockton Dr. (Summer)
Chicago, IL 60606 Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum,
2430 N. Cannon Dr. (Winter)
Prudential Plaza Farmers Market 773.880.1266
Lake St. & Beaubien Court www.chicagogreencitymarket.org
Chicago, IL 60601 email@example.com
Wednesday Austin Farmers Market
Green City Market Madison St. & Central Ave.
South end of Lincoln Park between Chicago, IL 60644
Clark and Stockton Dr. (Summer)
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Bridgeport Farmers Market
2430 N. Cannon Dr. (Winter) 35th & Wallace
773.880.1266 Chicago, IL 60616
firstname.lastname@example.org Division Street Farmers Market
50 W. Division St.
Lawndale Farmers Market Chicago, IL 60610
3555 W. Ogden Ave.
Chicago, IL 60623 Lincoln Park Farmers Market
Armitage Ave. & Orchard St.
South Shore Farmers Market Chicago, IL 60647
70th & Jeffery Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60649
• SGA RESOURCE GUIDE •
Northcenter Farmers Market All Week
4100 N. Damen Chicago’s Farm Stand
Chicago, IL 60618 66 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 606002
Printers Row Farmers Market www.chicagofarmstand.com
Dearborn & Polk
Chicago, IL 60605
For more information
Southport Farmers Market you can go to:
1420 W. Grace St.
Chicago, IL 60657 www.chicagofarmersmarkets.us
61st Street Farmers Market
6100 S. Blackstone
Chicago, IL 60637
Beverly Farmers Market
9500 S. Longwood Dr.
Chicago, IL 60643
Erie Street Farmers Market
500 W. Erie St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Wicker Park and Bucktown Farmers
1500 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Pilsen Community Market
1800 S. Halstead
Chicago, IL 60608
• SGA RESOURCE GUIDE •
The Good Food Project www.commonthreads.org
Please Visit Website 312.752.2690
Susan Taylor, Executive Director 500 N. Dearborn, Suite 530
Chicago, IL 60654
The Good Food Project is a non-profit
organization whose mission is to
“introduce children to the exquisite Openlands
flavors of the earth’s bounty and to
help them develop a lifelong love of Jaime Zaplatosch, Education
good food.” Coordinator
http://thegoodfoodproject.org Openlands offers a wide range of
email@example.com educational and consultation services
for those involved with school and
773.648.0068 community gardening.
Purple Asparagus 25 E. Washington St.
Melissa Graham, President Suite 1650
Chicago, IL U.S.
Purple Asparagus is a non-profit
organization dedicated to “bringing
families back to the table”, through a
variety of programs such as Healthy
Snacks in Schools, Family Dinners Edible Garden at Lincoln Park Zoo
and additional programs to promote
healthy family meal practices. Jeanne Pinsof Nolan
www.purpleasparagus.com The Edible Garden at the Lincoln Park
firstname.lastname@example.org Zoo offers a hands-on gardening and
harvesting experience for students,
773.991.1920 and is an example of the plethora
1824 W. Newport Ave. of fresh foods an urban garden can
Chicago, IL 60657 produce.
Common Threads 2001 N Clark St
Common Threads educates children Chicago, IL 60614
on the importance of nutrition 847.636.2720
and well-being, while fostering
an appreciation cultural diversity
through cooking and shared meals.
• SGA RESOURCE GUIDE •
Chicago Botanic Garden 175 N. Franklin, Suite 300
Eliza Fournier, Community Gardening Chicago, IL 60606
The Chicago Botanic Garden provides www.healthyschoolscampaign.org
school and community garden
consultation; gardens open to school Chicago Partnership for Health
trips as well as hands-on educational Promotion
412 S. Peoria, Suite 400
www.chicago-botanic.org Chicago, IL 60607-7067
E Lake Cook Rd 312.996.8700
Glencoe, Illinois 60022
Consortium to Lower Obesity in
Chicago Children (CLOCC)
The Peggy Notebaert 2300 Children’s Plaza
Nature Museum Box #157
The Nature Museum offers a wide Chicago, IL 60614
variety of hands-on exhibits that 312-573-7760
educate guests on the Illinois natural
environment. Environmental and
gardening education resources can Slow Food Chicago
be found in the museum’s library and Contact by Website and Email
Slow Food Chicago an educational
2430 North Cannon Drive nonprofit that seeks to create dramatic
Chicago, IL 60614 and lasting change in our local food
773.755.5100 system to ensure equity, sustainability,
www.naturemuseum.org and pleasure in the food we eat.
Healthy Schools Campaign
Healthy Schools Campaign advocates
for policies and practices that allow
students, teachers and staff to
learn and work in a healthy school
About Seven Generations Ahead
Seven Generations Ahead (SGA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose
mission is to build ecologically sustainable and healthy communities. SGA
advocates for proactive, local community solutions to global environmental
issues by working to promote clean, renewable energy; eco-effective materials
and products; intelligent, sustainable building design; and fresh, local food
raised using ecologically safe and healthy practices.
This book is specifically designed to complement SGA’s Fresh from the Farm
curriculum and program activities working with children in the classroom and
on the farm to teach them about nature’s growing cycles, organic cultivation,
and the health benefits of specific fruits and vegetables. Additionally, it aims
at educating children about what it’s like to be a farmer, and the emotional,
academic, and physical health benefits of living a healthy eating lifestyle.
Fresh from the Farm offers:
• 8-10 week curriculum modules incorporating nutrition and healthy eating,
local, earth-friendly agriculture, food origins, local fresh fruit and vegetable
tastings, and experiencing food with the five senses.
• Tours of local organic farms with structured curriculum activities.
Participating farms include the Green Earth Institute, Prairie Crossing
Learning Farm, Angelic Organics, Growing Power and Genesis Growers.
• “Meet the Farmer” classroom visits highlighting how food is grown, building
healthy soil, raising food in earth-friendly ways, and the farmer’s life.
• Local Chef Cooking Demonstrations that show students ways to prepare
healthy foods and their nutritional qualities.
• School-based organic garden development.
• Parent education.
For more information: www.sevengenerationsahead.org
About Northwestern University’s
The Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change (MSLOC) program
at Northwestern University is designed to strengthen the ability of experienced
working professionals to use innovative people management and learning
practices to lead strategic and sustainable organizational change. This book
was developed for SGA as part of an MSLOC course designed to introduce
students to concepts applicable to leading change. As part of the course, student
teams were challenged to generate ideas to support the Illinois Local Food,
Farms & Jobs Act (enacted August 18, 2009). Teams were specifically directed
to focus on the needs, expectations and desires of school leaders, parents and
their communities within the spirit of The Act. One MSLOC team proposed,
conceived and developed this children’s book to reinforce SGA’s Fresh from
the Farm curriculum.
For more information: www.sesp.northwestern.edu/msloc/
The MSLOC team would like to extend heartfelt thank you to:
Our Foundations Coach: Kevin Murnane
Our Sponsor: Gary Cuneen, Seven Generations Ahead
Foundations Panelists: Jim Braun, Illinois Farmer-Consumer Coalition and
Debbie Hillman, Founder of the Evanston Food Policy Council
And: Chelsea Brink, Shannah Dieckmann, Tracey E. Dils, Jeffrey Merrell, Dr.
Kemia Sarraf, John Sessler, Kimberly Scott, Arlene Schneider, Courtney Thomas,
And too: The third graders who gave us helpful feedback and enjoyed our book!
The MSLOC student team is: Katherine Beauchamp, Brad Becker, Jeanne
Ebersole, Mariana Vasques, Loren Rozakos, Rebecca Schneider, Vikash Shah
and Rashaun Sourles
Meet Percival Perkins: The Particular and
Picky Eater who learns from his good friend,
Penny, how perfectly wonderful eating fresh
garden food can be!
Parents and Teachers:
This book includes Reflection
Questions, A Do-It-Yourself
Container Garden Activity
and Resource Guide