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Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 11 months ago

12 July 2023 Richie’s Picks: FISH AND WORM (I Can Read! Comics, Level 1) by Sergio Ruzzier, Harper Alley, May 2023, 48p., ISBN: 978-0-06-329035-8


“My body’s nobody’s body but mine

You run your own body, let me run mine” 

– Peter Alsop (1983)


“The UN secretary general has said that ‘climate change is out of control’, as an unofficial analysis of data showed that average world temperatures in the seven days to Wednesday were the hottest week on record.

‘If we persist in delaying key measures that are needed, I think we are moving into a catastrophic situation, as the last two records in temperature demonstrates,’ António Guterres said, referring to the world temperature records broken on Monday and Tuesday.”

– The Guardian (July 6, 2023)


“The connection between livestock farming and climate change has never been more clear. Raising animals for food uses extraordinary amounts of water, causes deforestation and contributes heavily to greenhouse gas emissions, making the practice of farming animals severely damaging to the climate and overall planetary health. Research suggests that a number of shifts, including dietary change, can help bring down food-related climate emissions.”

https://sentientmedia.org “How Does Farming Livestock Affect Climate Change?” (2022)


“‘But why shouldn’t I eat you?’

‘I do not taste very good. And you will get a belly ache.’

‘Don’t worry, Worm! I will not eat you.’

‘Thank you, Fish!’

‘Do you want to play tag?’


‘Tag, you’re it!’



Fish is about to get in trouble with his mama because he is (literally) playing with his food instead of eating it. But Fish displays impressive loyalty and tenacity:


“‘I cannot eat Worm. She is my friend!’”


Whether or not it was intended as such, FISH AND WORM is a delightfully subversive read. It will cause some young readers and/or audience members to make that “A-ha!” connection between living, breathing creatures and the hunks of meat in their sandwich or on their dinner plate.


“‘We said, “Shall we try going vegetarian?” It was a joint decision and we never looked back. It was a great thing to do, and it turned out we became part of a vegetarian revolution.’" 

- Paul McCartney


Thanks in large part to Paul and Linda’s encouragement, and long before climate change became a news story, I made that connection between cute farm animals and dinner. I’ve now been vegetarian for forty-six years; vegan for twenty-one. Climate change has long since become an ongoing crisis and news story. Like recycling, installing solar panels, driving energy-efficient vehicles, moderating home heating and air conditioning temperatures, and air-drying laundry, becoming a vegetarian is a step that environmentally-conscious people and young people can take in order to do their part in helping save the planet for future generations.


And so, in addition to being an absolute crack-up of a read for newbie readers, FISH AND WORM is a socially-conscious read. I encourage parents and elementary teachers and librarians to purchase and share this one.


Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com





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