By Bonnie Worth – Illustrated by Aristides Ruiz From the giant gum to this very small weed, every flowering started out as a seed.

Plants are so useful to me and to you. Can you think of the ways? I will name you a few.

I’m the Cat in the Hat, and I think that you need to come and take a look at this thing called a seed. The paper from books and The and the the cloth for your pants and the veggies, you eat – came from and from – why, they come from plants, too. that’s two kinds of plants. And here’s something neat… Yes, plants serve us well and fill so many needs, and flowering plants In deserts and all started as . and thick grow plants that can make you feel well when you’re sick. Just what is a seed, you’re wondering maybe? Well, you might say a seed is a tiny plant baby!

Like all seeds a comes in three basic parts. Thing One and Thing Two, please bring on the charts.

The best way for you to see just what I mean is to take a close look at a seed called a bean. Part one is the first that It’s called cot-y-le-don. I think you should know: Say, isn’t that fun? it’s the part that’s the baby. This bean seed has two, It’s called em-bry-o! but some others have one.

To sprout, it needs , Last comes the third part like you and I do, that you need to know. which brings us to It’s the coat, which protects seed part numero two. our cute bean . In seven or so days To sprout a bean seed, comes the part that I love: keep it moist, but not wet.

Keep it covered with dirt and then see what you get. a spreads below and a stem above. Now in order to show a grown bean plant to you, we’ve traveled in time for some months. Maybe two.

Thing Two calls the part above ground the system

Thing one calls the part underground the root system. To get a good look at the And keep the soil roots underground, from just washing away. it is better to look like That’s pretty important, a mole, I have found. now wouldn’t you say?

Roots are not pretty. They are twisty and hairy. And some roots look even a little bit scary!

Roots anchor a plant and help it stand true. Roots suck up the water and minerals, too. It shoots through the plant, and next (as you’ll see) the each turn into a good factory! We’ve talked about roots. We’ve learned about them. Now it is time we moved to the stem.

The stem is a pipe through which water shoots. Just like the rhino’s It’s absorbed from the soil protected with horns, and passed up through the roots. the stem of the is protected with thorns. Leaves come in all shapes But the thing that all leaves and all sizes, I’ve found – have in common is this: some small and some spiky, they make their own food some big and some round. by pho-to-syn-the-sis.

I’ll say this quite loudly – I don’t mean to be rude – but… PLANTS ARE THE ONLY For your information – LIVING THINGS ON EARTH and also for fun – THAT MAKE THEIR OWN FOOD! hop in my Shrink-Upper and let’s see how it’s done. To do this, plants need water, minerals – and sun. And that’s why the daytime’s when food-making’s done. I see by my clock The leaves take the CO2 through a , or pore. that now is the hour It works like a mouth, to drop in and say a and that’s what it’s for. hello to the !

Then the air gets mixed in Plants breathe out a gas with the water and sun. that we breathe in. And that’s how the The name of that gas food-making factory is run. is OX-Y-GEN Thing Two has a chart - An unfertilized he will share it with you – will not ever grow, that shows what the parts and ’s the stuff of a flower all do. that will fix that, you know.

(A flower’s own pollen In a pistil are – or another’s okay.) they’re unfertilized seeds. That’s where the bees, The holds pollen, play a role, by the way. which an ovule need. To make honey, bees need to get from . They fly and they gather this sweet stuff for hours.

The pollen sticks into their bodies and legs. It falls off and, sometimes, it reaches the ! An ovule that’s fertilized And and oranges becomes a seed. and pineapples, too – Around it grows , all kinds of plant upon which we feed. that are healthy for you.

When we say the word “fruit,” do you know what it means? It means olives, nuts, grains, plantains, tangerines!

Some fruits are juicy and messy to munch on. Dry ones, like nuts are nice just to crunch on. Not all plants with seeds Some seeds come in pods give us edible fruit. that explode like a sneeze. Some plants have seeds Other seeds may have wings that look weird or look cute. and can fly on a breeze.

Bur seeds are hitchhikers that ride on your clothes And dandelion seeds sometimes fly up your nose. But whether they stick or they blow or they fly, seeds bring us life, and now you know why.

I see the sun setting and I hope you have learned here comes the moon. from my little seed talk. Your mother is calling. And how I will climb up… Your dinner is soon. …this giant beanstalk!