The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau

19 08 2012

I love picture book biographies.  The regular biographies, when well done, can be fantastic books, but let’s be honest here – sometimes they can be a bit dry and boring.  I can’t do dry and boring.

Picture book biographies, on the other hand, usually offer a really cool spin on certain aspects of a subject’s life, with awesome pictures.  This one, The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, is exactly that.  This book is about the marine scientist/inventor/television pioneer – Jacques Cousteau, and it skips all the boring stuff that puts you to sleep and just gets to the really interesting parts of Cousteau’s life.

First, that he was very sick and weak as a kid, but used water to strengthen his muscles, starting a life long love affair with the sea.  Second, that a chance gift of some goggles, started him on a quest to explore deeper and deeper and deeper in the world’s oceans, forcing him to invent equipment that no one thought possible to reach his goals.  Then, the desire he had to share what he was seeing under the sea and creating undersea cameras so that TV shows could be filmed, showing the whole world what he was seeing.  Finally, Cousteau’s desire to protect the oceans from mankind, who had polluted everywhere else in the world already.

In just 32 pages, Dan Yaccarino touches on all those aspects of Cousteau’s amazing life, leaving some readers with just enough information, but sending others (like me) right to Wikipedia to read more and to YouTube to watch Cousteau’s videos.  That’s the sign of a good book right there.

This one was recommended to me by some teachers I talk to on Twitter, and I’ll be passing the recommendation on to any kids who have any interest in sea exploration or marine biology.

This summer, I’ve been on a quest to finish 90 books in the 90 days we have off from school.  This book was #78.




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