The Runaway Garden - the 2010 Michigan Reads! program

The Runaway Garden

A little girl, angry with her grandfather for making her work in the garden, thinks about running away. That night on the porch swing he tells her a story of a night when the vegetables left their beds to roam far and wide. She is able to reflect quietly on responsibility and gain a greater appreciation of the garden and her grandfather.

The theme reflects First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative, Let's Move: America's Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids, to provide better food and more activity for America's kids. Learn more about healthy foods from the USDA's My Plate site for Preschoolers.

Jeffery Schatzer
Jeffery Schatzer, author
Contact: (231) 916-2037 or

Jeffrey Ebbeler
Jeffrey Ebbeler, illustrator
Contact: (312) 307-4494 or

Programming Guide and Further Resources

  • The Runaway Garden Programming and Resource Guide. A content-rich 60-page guide specific to The Runaway Garden for those who work with young children. Contains activities including songs and dances, information on literacy for birth through age 5, age-appropriate nutrition information to use with children, and additional resources. Hosted at the Internet Archive.

Are you interested in more activities from the gardening theme of the book such as urban gardening or even just a few pots of tomato plants? Check out some of these resources:

Updated 01/11/2016