Adventures in Living Plants by Edwin B. Kurtz, Jr. and Chris Allen

An excerpt from the childrens book Adventures in Living Plants by Edwin B. Kurtz, Jr. and Chris Allen, a textbook that helps kids learn about nature.

ADVENTURES IN LIVING PLANTS. By Edwin B. Kurtz, Jr., and Chris Allen. Tucson, Ariz.: Univ. of Ariz. Press, 1965.

About the book: A grammar school biology textbook, this book takes an unusual approach to its subject. The format is a trip through plant cells, fibers, roots, etc. It has delightful illustrations, and includes the usual experiments for children to do.

From the book: Are you ready? Let's visit the green cells in the leaves of grass in your front yard. Take my hand! Now, swallow the pill. There goes mine. And now yours. Don't be frightened. I've made this trip many times. Just hold on to my hand so we won't get lost! Since we were standing on your front yard on some grass, we won't have any trouble finding some grass cells to ... go ... in ... too ... oo ... o ...

Ah, here we are now. You are now one millionth as tall as you were a few seconds ago! Didn't hurt a bit, did it? This wide flat thing we are standing on is a grass leaf. Watch out! You almost fell in one of those big holes in the leaf surface! Molecules of gases go in and out of the leaf through those holes. The holes are called stomates. See that swarm of small flealike bodies coming out of that stomate? They are molecules of oxygen and water coming out of the leaf. But let's not bother with them. We came here to see some cells! Be careful now, and hold my hand. We are going to slide down the side of one of these large holes. Then we will be inside the leaf where the cells are. Hold on. Here we go!

I forgot to ask you if you can swim. Glad to see that you can, because the water gets rather deep at times inside the leaf. Each cell has a coating of water over it, and it may get over our heads as we walk along the surface of the cells. See how bright it is inside the leaf? We can see our way easily because sunlight shines through the leaf. But be careful where you walk! You may slide over the edge of the cell we're standing on and get hurt from the fall! Because you are reduced in size, a fall off this cell would be like falling off a tall building!

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