Every Friday ) dives into more complex material than many of his previous books for younger readers with this captivating biography. “Weak and si"/>

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau

Dan Yaccarino, Author . Knopf $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-85573-3

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.)

Reviewed on: 03/16/2009
Release date: 03/01/2009
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