March 18, 2015

The fish that changed the world

The Cod's Tale
by Mark Kurlansky
illustrated by S.D. Schindler

The Atlantic cod was once an abundant fish. A voracious eater, it was very easy to catch and thus became a staple at tables everywhere. It was cod that sustained the Vikings, the Basques, and the European explorers. The Pilgrims survived on cod, as did African slaves (who made do with poor quality salted cod), the American Revolution was fought partly because of cod, and frozen cod became popular as fish sticks.

Presented in an easy-to-read picture book format, Kurlansky's story is enlivened with fun illustrations, dubious recipes, and a helpful timeline running through key pages of text. He ends with an important question: what will happen ... if there are no more fish? For answers, read Kurlansky's excellent book World Without Fish.

Highly recommended.

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