Jacques Cousteau

I LOVE the water! I love swimming in it and splashing in it and diving in it. Ocean, lake, river, swimming pool. Water is glorious!!

My Mom Person loves the water as well. When she was a little girl – and even a big girl – she worshiped a French man named Jacques Cousteau. She watched him on TV, she saw him in the movies, she read all his books.

We recently found, at our library!, a picture book biography of Mr Cousteau. The Mom Person was very excited!

IMG_1380The Fantastic Undersea Life of
by Dan Yaccarino
published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2009

This is a non-fiction book suitable for 1st grade and up

Themes – Jacques Cousteau, oceans, sea life, conservation

It begins –
Jacques Cousteau loved the sea.
He spent his whole life exploring it.
The ocean was the most incredible
place he’d ever seen, and he wanted
to share its beauty with the world.

This book is a great introduction to the life of Mr Cousteau. Mr Yaccarino’s illustrations have the feel of the ocean about them. In 32 pages, he manages to present a life lived large. We learned about the trials Mr Cousteau overcame as a young man. We learned about his creative genius, about his aquatic inventions that enabled him and his followers to explore the depths of the ocean.  And we learned about his passion for the sea and all the creatures in the sea. I could feel his passion as we read the book. The book offers up quotations from Mr Cousteau interspersed with the text and the lovely pictures.

“When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.”

IMG_1383Mr. Cousteau did enjoy a most extraordinary life and he did share that life generously. And now a new generation of youngsters can dream about swimming the ocean depths. I only wish that he had thought to invent a diving suit for a dog!

This book would fit in nicely with a unit on oceans or conservation. If you live close to a body of water it would be a fun field trip to go and study what you can see at the water’s edge. I know in my river there are always tiny fish and strange bugs and frogs and sometimes turtles. You might want to watch one of Mr Cousteau’s films.

Here is a little tidbit of what you might see from one of his films —

Here is a tidbit just for fun!

And now you might want to venture over to Ms Susanna Hill’s blog to find her list of Perfect Picture Books and lots of good resources for using those books! Happy Friday!!

Your friend in the water
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