Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ana's Picture Book of the Week

I confess that, with garden produce processing and the beginning of the school year, I have a growing pile of great new titles from the library sittign here, all worthy of picture-book-of-the week status. Our youngest, an 8-year old animal lover extraordinaire, voted for this one.

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino, 2009 Knopf Books for Young Readers, ISBN 0375855734

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 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.

Together with another picture book about Jacques Cousteau entitled Manfish by Jennifer Berne, this book can bring alive the life of a great man and his work to any young student .

Note: An interesting piece in the NYT about these books on the "red-capped" ocean explorer is worth reading!

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