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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover|Change
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on June 9, 2009
My 9 year old son, who is obsessed with sharks, used this book for a biography presentation on Cousteau. When we started looking for books at our local library on Cousteau, all we found were tons of adult reading material and virtually nothing from a child's perspective. This book introduced Cousteau to the young reader with simple words and beautiful illustrations to inspire future marine biologists. This book tells the story of Cousteau as a youth growing up. Who would have known that Cousteau became a swimmer/diver because he was a very sick child and his doctor told him to swim to gain strength. This kids book was long overdue.
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VINE VOICEon October 14, 2009
Like many parents our age, I grew up with Jacques Cousteau, the Frenchman who brought the life below the water level to everyone's homes via TV and films. Here is a colorful, friendly picture book about his life and accomplishments. Curious episodes of his life and his conservation efforts are explained in simple language. Also, beautiful, direct quotes from him are found throughout the colorful book, such as:

If we were logical, the future would be bleak indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope.

The art is reminiscent of illustrations from the 60s and very pleasant. We read this aloud and some of the facts of his life listed on the last page. We also found plenty on You Tube including longer films of his adventures on his ship, the Calypso.
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on December 29, 2010
My 3 year old and I are currently working through a themed curriculum about ocean creatures. I went to the library to pick up a dvd on the deep ocean (his favorite thing right now) and bumped into this little gem. I was very inspired by Jacques Cousteau as I was growing up. This story really brought back some fond memories of this man for me. My 3 year old listened intently to the book and asked some questions along the way and talked about Jacques Cousteau a few more times throughout the day today. He seems to be genuinely intrigued. I plan on buying this book for our home library now. I think Jacques Cousteau is such a wonderful example of so many things...persevenace, ingenuity, adventure, responsibility, preservation, education, etc. I hope my son becomes attached to his character just as I did. There is a lot to learn from him. I love the pictures in this book and did not find them "dizzy" as one reviewer said. They are very whimsical and beautiful. I love the story...simple, yet very informative. Lastly, I really enjoyed reading the quotes (I didn't read them to my 3 year old because I figured it might distract him, but I appreciated reading them on my own).
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on November 12, 2013
This picture book by Dan Yaccarino is a great glimpse at the life of Jacques Cousteau. His illustrations are vibrant and colorful, and the Jacques Cousteau quotes set on the pages are great conversation starters for young readers. An interesting read for any children interested in the life and work of Jacques Cousteau.
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on February 13, 2014
So who exactly is Jacques Cousteau? I remember watching the TV series as a child, fascinated with all the underwater sea life that Jacques and his crew got to see first-hand ever day. I remember just saying his name as a child, made me feel important. In Dan Yaccarino’s book, Jacques’ life is laid out in tall pages with bright watercolor illustrations. Colorful sea creatures, fish and humans fill the pages with contrasting text which are sure to enlighten you as you explore the life of this famous individual. Each two-page spread has a quote from the famous explorer enclosed inside a bubble which I think adds a humanist feature to his life story. I learned quite a bit about this famous explorer from his determined personality as he battled some illnesses growing up to inventing his own equipment to fulfill his own desires. Treading where no other individual had gone before, Jacques opened the world of the ocean to the masses and with this book, we can open the world to what Jacques Cousteau did so many years ago.

There is so much for me to like about this book, which the book jacket just does not convey. Opening this book is like looking at the ocean floor while snorkeling around a coral reef. The size of the book is tall and oversized which helps show off the wonderful watercolor pictures inside. The contrasting colored text inside is easy to read and has a lot of interesting facts which tells about his life without being bogged down by boring particulars that children don’t really care about. We learn about his life as a child, his hardships and how he never gave up. We learn about what he saw under the sea, his inventions, and some fun adventures that he had. At the end of the book we are given a list of important events in his life and a list of resources we could use to find more information about his life. I highly recommend this book. I recommend it so much; I am going to buy my own copy of it since this was a library book that I had checked out.
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on March 15, 2012
The text of this book wowed me. I could not stop reading to see what would happen to Cousteau. I liked its simplicity and its clearness. I liked how accessible the text was, even for the youngest of readers.

The illustrations were fun and cartoonish. I didn't like the colors the Yaccarino used for the water at first, every color except ocean blue, I think, but the colors grew on me, and I grew to love them.

I was very surprised how much the children liked this book and how much they were interested in this man's life.

The book also included a table of Cousteau's life and sources for further study.
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on October 4, 2015
Great book. My son is still a bit to young to read it, but he already enjoys the pictures very much. We've had some conversations about it and it's helped us work on our swimming. When he doesn't want to go I just bring up Jacques Cousteau, and he's on board. Plus I get to be the cool dad whose kid knows about Cousteau (even if he has a little trouble with the name). Can't wait to watch the films with him!
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on June 13, 2014
This is a fabulous book. Very informative and appropriate for elementary students. I used it as the beginning read-aloud for our Summer School "Splash Into Learning" Camp and it allowed us to discuss oceanography, sea life, conservation, and was the spin-off for the entire camp.
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on May 18, 2009
There are adult coverages of explorer Jacques Cousteau's life, so it's refreshing to find a child's picturebook version that covers Cousteau and his team's inventions, pursuits, and contributions. Oversized, artistic drawings accompany the simple survey of Cousteau's life and motivation for exploring the sea, making for a perfect choice for newcomers to biography.
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VINE VOICEon October 3, 2013
This is a really great book. My kids, ages six and three, love it. They're more than a bit fascinated by the fact that Jacques was a real person. The story of his life is well and simply told, a tale of challenges overcome, a dream pursued, new things discovered, lessons learned, and amazing things accomplished. And the book takes place mostly under water, with great, whimsical drawings of under-sea creatures that kids love to look at. There is also a nice ecological message at the end that, while being a bit obvious, is also nicely done without being heavy handed. This book is really well done. Hats off to Dan Yaccariono. Enjoy!
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