Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau

Overview

Before Jacques Cousteau became an internationally known oceanographer and champion of the seas, he was a curious little boy. In this lovely biography, poetic text and gorgeous paintings combine to create a portrait of Jacques Cousteau that is as magical as it is inspiring.

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Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau

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Overview

Before Jacques Cousteau became an internationally known oceanographer and champion of the seas, he was a curious little boy. In this lovely biography, poetic text and gorgeous paintings combine to create a portrait of Jacques Cousteau that is as magical as it is inspiring.

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Editorial Reviews

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

Gr 2-5

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

Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811860635
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 4/23/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 116,774
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Berne, a contributing writer for Nick Jr. magazine, enjoys writing about our amazing universe. This is her first children's book. She lives in Columbia County, New York.

Award-winning illustrator √Čric Puybaret has illustrated several books for children. He lives in Paris, France.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2008

    Beautiful Book for All Ages

    Jennifer Berne's tale of Jacques Cousteau's journey from child to young man to manfish is breathtaking and inspiring. This children's book is a lovely look at a world that's often forgotten in our busy lives - the sea and its inhabitants and the effect we have on each other. Berne's chronicles of Cousteau's journeys, his ambition and his deep passion for life are inspirational to young and older readers alike. The sea is bigger than life, and so is this book's message: dream big and follow those dreams. Cousteau gives us all a little hope that perhaps changing the world isn't really all that hard. I recommend getting this book for anyone in your life who loves and respects the sea and its life - or anyone who appreciate life at all. The illustrations and the poetic tale are unforgettable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    This is a wonderful book - beautifully written and gorgeously il

    This is a wonderful book - beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated. It takes you on an almost dream-like, very lovely, poetic journey that includes the ocean, Jacques Cousteau's life, fish and ocean creatures, nature - and having dreams as a child and working throughout life to make them come true. This book should appeal to parents as well as children. I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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