I love this new biography of the one and only Jacques Cousteau, Manfish, by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by French illustrator Eric Puybaret. Berne sets out to tell us the life story of Cousteau—but only to some extent. Her bigger purpose is to convey his passion for conservation and teaching conservation to the world, particularly children. Berne opens it on quite the lyrical note:
Through the silence of the sea,
Silvery beads of breath
From a man
Deep, Deep down
In a strange and shimmering ocean land
Of swaying plants and fantastic sea creatures,
Into the unknown,
Exploring underwater worlds no one has ever seen.
The story is written poetically, starting with Cousteau as a curious little boy wondering about the sea, and traveling with Cousteau through his life and adventures, ending with his passion to love, protect and save the underwater world, its creatures and our planet Earth.
To those of us who remember him, this book will remind us all of how Jacques Cousteau first introduced us to the mysterious wonders of the ocean and its remarkable creatures. Now, the next generations will learn to love and care for the sea, through this exceptional, beautifully presented story.
The stunning illustrations were painted on linen by Eric Puybaret, creating underwater panoramas though which the reader can enter and experience the fascinating world of Jacques Cousteau. He plays with perspective, bringing to vivid life the beautiful blue-green underwater world of the sea.
Click here for more information about Jacques Cousteau.