New Picture Book Helps Kids Learn About Gardening, Counting and Healthy Food

Parents who want to encourage their young children to eat healthy foods can soon have a new picture book to help them in their efforts. "Chipper Kids: Counting in the Crazy Garden" (JenPrint, 2008) highlights the activities of Arnold Chipper, a teddy who loves to make "food" from his garden. The problem is he can't get his little brother Albert and friend Maria to eat any of his messy meals! Will they eventually try one of his crazy creations? Or will they convince Arnold to use his garden in a different way? "Chipper Kids: Counting in the Crazy Garden" highlights healthy eating while it also shows young readers how to count from one to ten. It is the first book in the Chipper Kids™ series.

"It was tough for me to get my children to eat healthy meals, so I created a story for them where the characters were given truly crazy 'snacks'," says the book's author, Margarette Burnette. "By the time I got to the end of the tale, my kids had a new appreciation for good food. At that point, I knew the story could be a book for other children to enjoy." Burnette blogs about her experiences at, a web site that also offers free games and coloring pages for kids.

When she's not blogging, Burnette is a health and parenting writer. Her articles have appeared in Parenting, Pregnancy, Essence and several regional parenting publications. She is an active member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two children, ages four and six.

"Chipper Kids: Counting in the Crazy Garden" (JenPrint Publications, hardcover, $15.95) will be available in traditional bookstores and through online retailers in March 2008.


Mark said...

Brian I thought that some of your readers who want their kids to enjoy gardening would be interested in this experience.

My name is Mark Chipkin. When I was 10 years old I grew TickleMe Plants and I never forgot the day I tickled my first plant and it closed its leaves and lowered its branches. As with my own experience, this is a growing experience that can excite kids about plants and nature. I have been teaching science for over 30 year and now, and I decided to create an educational company that sells TickleMe Plant seeds and growing kits. I developed kits and activities to help children (and those young at heart) get excited about plants and indoor gardening. I 100% guarantee they can grow a plant and it will move when they tickle it or I replace the seeds. I provide individual support, growing tips and experiments for kids for free. Would you consider sharing any of the information indicated below or videos from our web site with your readers?
You have my permission to use any of our photos, graphics, videos, pricing and text from our web site or below in your writings TickleMe Plants are now being featured by the National Gardening Association which have similar goals to ours! Below are directions for growing your own TickleMe Plant and other information I hope you will find useful!
Please write or call if I can provide you with any high resolution images. I look forward to your reply.
Thank you for giving this matter your attention,
Mark Chipkin
Ever Grow The Plant That MOVES When You Tickle It?
Now you and your family can grow your own TickleMe Plants™! I have been growing TickleMe Plants™ with my sixth grade students and family for over 30 years. Imagine the amazement of your friends, family or students when your living TickleMe Plant™ closes its leaves and lowers its branches as you tickle it.

• TickleMe Plant™ Seeds
• Flower pot or cup with hole on the bottom
• Soil
1. The day before you plant your seeds, soak them in warm water overnight.
2. Fill a flower pot or cup ¾ of the way with soil.
3. Plant three to five seeds by covering them with 1/8 inch of soil.
4. Water your seeds gently.
5. Place your newly planted seeds in a room that receives bright light or sunlight for part of the day.
6. Temperatures in the room should be above 70 degrees.
7. Water before the soil dries out.
8. That’s it! Your plants will begin to grow in less than a week.
The first two leaves will not be ticklish. In about three weeks, the second set of TickleMe Plant™ leaves will appear and they will move when you tickle them. TickleMe Plants™ are best grown as house plants and can even be placed in a bright location outside during the warmer months. They are frost sensitive, so be sure to bring them inside before the cold weather arrives. The sensitive plant seeds of the TickleMe Plant grow to produce beautiful pink cotton puff ball flowers.
TickleMe Plants™ can live for a year or more and grow to about one foot plus in height.

What is a TickleMe Plant?
Native to Brazil, TickleMe Plants can be found growing wild there and in other tropical areas. The scientific name for the TickleMe Plant™ is Mimosa pudica. It also has been called shy grass, sensitive plant and other names throughout the world.
To learn about the natural history of the TickleMe Plant™ go to

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself and your children developing a greater sensitivity to plants. When my students first tickle their plants, they often scream “It’s ALIVE!”
Even students that are sometimes hard to motivate, can’t wait to take home their pet TickleMe Plant™ to show off to their friends and family. I grew my first TickleMe Plant™ when I was 9 years old and I never looked at plants in the same way again, nor have I ever forgotten the experience. Neither will you!
To learn more about growing TickleMe Plants™ or to order seeds go to Seed packets start at $4.95, Growing Kits and TickleMe Plant Greenhouses with mini flower pots are available.
TickleMe Plants can be found online, in science catalogs, at science museums, botanical gardens, The National Gardening Association Kid’s Store as well as at toy and gift stores.

Mark Chipkin is a middle school Science Teacher and an Educational Project Director for the TickleMe Plant™ Company. He has sent hundreds of students home with their own Pet TickleMe Plants™.
Thank you for your time to consider this matter,
Mark Chipkin
Educational Project Advisor and Co-Owner
TickleMe Plant Company