From the Publisher
BOOKLIST, STARRED REVIEW
Berne\'s simple language is both lyrical and concise....Puybaret\'s smooth-looking acrylic paintings extend the words\' elegant simplicity...
KIRKUS REVIEWS, STARRED REVIEW
This moving tribute to the great nautical observer and filmmaker is shot through with an authentically childlike sense of adventure and the thrill of discovery....is certain to inspire fresh interest in discovering, and in caring for, our world's wonders.
Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
A young Jacques Cousteau, captivated by the sea and its wonders, dreams of breathing underwater and "flying" with the fish and sea creatures. Many years later he does just that and then brings this place of wonder to millions through his camera. Chronicling Cousteau's inventions of underwater still and movie cameras and the magnificent aqualung, as well as some of his undersea exploration, Berne's quietly poetic prose draws readers into Cousteau's world. Seeing the ravages of pollution turned Cousteau into an activist with quite a pulpit from which he could rally the world to explore and protect this earth; readers are encouraged to become explorers, inventors, and activists themselves in the "Author's Note." Berne keeps the focus narrow and does not detail much of Cousteau's personal life. There are no source notes or even dates in this thematic biography, but additional resources about Cousteau and his work are also included. Puybaret's stylized, ocean-colored acrylic paintings take the reader from the sea with Cousteau to the movie theatre as part of the audience watching his films, and finally into the world of discovery and action. His use of color and wavy lines is particularly effective. This beautiful picture book that is both historical and timeless captures Cousteau's determination and willingness to work with what he had. Reviewer: Peg Glisson
School Library Journal
A new generation of children is introduced to the pioneering oceanographer and filmmaker. Beginning with Cousteau's childhood in France where he marveled at the sea and dreamed of breathing underwater, Berne reveals the unique mix of curiosity, ingenuity, and passion that drove Cousteau to make underwater exploration possible. She describes his early experiments and forays into amateur filmmaking, helping readers understand the man he became. Most interesting is the simple explanation of how Cousteau and his friends developed the first fins, wetsuits, and scuba gear. Children will be surprised to know that before this man, the sport of scuba diving was nonexistent. Berne gently leads readers to Cousteau's passion for saving the underwater environment and then follows up with suggestions for further inquiry in her author's note. Almost poetic in its rich descriptions, the text is superimposed on ethereal acrylic paintings, submerging readers in the marine world. Shades of blue and green represent swaying, wraithlike strands of seaweed that both readers and oceanographers dart through while exploring the briny depths.-Nicki Clausen-Grace, Carillon Elementary School, Oviedo, FL
This moving tribute to the great nautical observer and filmmaker is shot through with an authentically childlike sense of adventure and the thrill of discovery. Curious about the world, and especially the oceans, from his earliest years, Cousteau experimented with cameras, dreamed of flying and grew up to combine these interests-inventing the aqualung along the way so that he and his friends could see and record more of the deep's treasures. Puybaret ventures into Mary GrandPre territory with his shimmering, stylized seascapes, depicting long-bodied divers slipping sinuously through schools of brightly patterned fish and other sea life. Climaxing with a spectacular double foldout and closing with both an environmental warning and a wish that "someday it would be you, exploring worlds never seen, never imagined," this poetic profile of a doer and a dreamer is certain to inspire fresh interest in discovering, and in caring for, our world's wonders. (author's note) (Picture book/biography. 7-11)