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The fantastic undersea life of Jacques Cousteau
2009
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Author Notes
Artist and freelance illustrator Dan Yaccarino graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York in 1987. <p> Yaccarino's work has appeared in periodicals such as Rolling Stone, Playboy and New York magazine. AT&T, Mount Gay Rum, Gardenburger and other companies have used his images and illustrations in their advertising. <p> In 1993, Yaccarino published his first children's book, Big Brother Mike, and has since written or illustrated almost twenty more children's books. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Jacques Cousteau (Male), Oceanographer, Explorer, Ecologist, Filmmaker, French, Married, Father, Lifelong fascination with the sea; filmmaking; invention
Genre
NonFiction
Juvenile
Science
Topics
Underwater exploration
Explorers
Filmmakers
Marine animals
Ecology
Oceanography
Nature
Science
Time Period
-- 20th century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Yaccarino (Every Friday) dives into more complex material than many of his previous books for younger readers with this captivating biography. "Weak and sickly" as a boy, Cousteau turned to the Mediterranean (and to tinkering) in his youth, but his life changes forever when a friend gives him a pair of goggles. ("Man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free," says the oceanographer-his exuberant quotes lend the story a bubbly energy.) Cousteau makes his own diving equipment-the Aqua-Lung, a cover for his camera, undersea lighting-eventually equipping his own research vessel and sharing the world's oceans through his many films and books. Yaccarino's retro-style spreads-smoky blues and violets contrasting with vibrant reds and golds-are nicely suited to Cousteau's underwater playground; the fuzzy quality of his airbrushing makes it seem as though readers are submerged themselves. Yaccarino's somewhat abstracted forms won't satisfy children who want photo-real views of sea life, but the author's enthusiasm for Cousteau, as well as the majesty and mystery of the sea, is apparent on every page. Ages 6-9. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

  School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Yaccarino deftly provides information about important events in Cousteau's life while conveying the excitement and wonder that the ocean explorer experienced. Readers learn about his tinkering that resulted in inventions such as the Aqua-Lung and submersibles that expanded the range of undersea exploration and research. Then Cousteau shared his discoveries through films, books, and television, encouraging others to value and protect the oceans from environmental degradation. Effective layout and page design plus colorful gouache illustrations result in a striking visual presentation for small-group sharing or individual viewing. Brief quotations from Cousteau appear in insets on some pages; there is no documentation of Yaccarino's own research. Jennifer Berne's Manfish (Chronicle, 2008) uses more poetic language and features softer, more aquatic colors in the illustrations. Even libraries with that biography will want to add Yaccarino's book to the shelves.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Summary
Jacques Cousteau was the world's ambassador of the oceans. His popular TV series brought whales, otters, and dolphins right into people's living rooms. Now, in this exciting picturebook biography, Dan Yaccarino introduces young readers to the man behind the snorkel.<br> <br> From the first moment he got a glimpse of what lived under the ocean's waves, Cousteau was hooked. And so he set sail aboard the Calypso to see the sea. He and his team of scientists invented diving equipment and waterproof cameras. They made films and televisions shows and wrote books so they could share what they learned. The oceans were a vast unexplored world, and Cousteau became our guide. And when he saw that pollution was taking its toll on the seas, Cousteau became our guide in how to protect the oceans as well.
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