Children's LiteratureThis short biography of the world's best-known oceanographer also includes some interesting scientific background about the undersea world. The author provides tantalizing glimpses of Cousteau's adventure-filled life, showing his failures as well as his successes. Many of Cousteau's earlier years were devoted to developing small diving craft and creating undersea habitats to which humans could escape in the event of overpopulation and uncontrolled pollution. The middle-aged Cousteau became a household name in America when he created and starred in a multi-year television series, filmed aboard his boat, Calypso. In his later years he also became famous as an environmentalist. Several sidebars contain additional scientific tidbits. There have been many books written about Cousteau over the past decade, although few have been published since his death in 1997. This book doesn't seem to add anything new and the author's utilitarian prose is uninspiring. Part of "Explorers of New Worlds" series. 2001, Chelsea House, $18.95. Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer: Ellen R. Butts
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-6-These absorbing profiles of explorers from uniquely different periods of history are ideal for novice report writers. Their concise and accessible texts, attractive page layouts, and excellent illustrations make them appealing. Vikings draws on maps, folktales, and artifacts to trace the movement of Scandinavian warriors through North Atlantic islands to the inhospitable American continent. Cousteau reveals that the former French naval officer, best known for his exquisite films of marine life, spent his early years actually designing and refining much of the equipment necessary to take divers and cameras to remote undersea regions. Sacagawea re-creates the woman's adventurous journey with Lewis and Clark and discusses her longevity as an American legend, including her appearance on the new gold dollar coin. All three volumes offer excitement and intrigue by constantly posing the unanswered questions that still surround these explorers: Were the Vikings really the first Europeans to set foot in North America five centuries before Columbus? Are there secrets yet to be revealed in the ocean's depths? What really happened to Sacagawea after she took leave of the Corps of Discovery? These books invite readers to jump in and explore these questions themselves.-William McLoughlin, Brookside School, Worthington, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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