Most helpful positive review
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful and complete
on July 11, 2005
This was one of the first books my parents ever bought me which I read all by myself. It is still one of my favorite books and one of the few from my childhood that I have not donated to the local library.
This book was written by Jacques Cousteau, the famous French oceanographer, inventor of numerous diving devices and technologies and maybe one of the most famous scientists of the 20th century. This book is actually a condensation of a series of 20+ books, each of which are devoted to different aspects of the oceans. The original series of books were based on various documentary TV shows produced by, starred in, or otherwise assisted by the author. The original books were very popular in libraries around the world, so the author came out with a condensed version which I am now reviewing.
This book is probably the best source to learn about the oceans, whether you are an adult or child. The text is simple enough for children to understand, but complete and mature in its style, and written like an introductory textbook. The figures and illustrations are gorgeous and in color, and still match those of more recent publications.
Each chapter in this book is short enough to complete in one day, and they cover topics like coral reefs, the N and S Poles, ocean geography, marine mammals, history of life in the ocean, etc... Each chapter begins with a beautiful color illustration on a black page, and is labeled with beautiful names. For example, the chapter on coral reefs is labeled "Pharaohs of the Sea" in reference to their incredible age. My favorite chapter is "The Art of Motion" which begins with a figure of a dolphin jumping out of the water. This chapter's emphasis is on how different life forms in the ocean move about.
Overall, this is one of my favorite books, and a must buy for any science collection.