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Yaccarino (Every Friday) dives into more complex material than many of his previous books for younger readers with this captivating biography. "Weak and sickly" as a boy, Cousteau turned to the Mediterranean (and to tinkering) in his youth, but his life changes forever when a friend gives him a pair of goggles. ("Man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free," says the oceanographer-his exuberant quotes lend the story a bubbly energy.) Cousteau makes his own diving equipment-the Aqua-Lung, a cover for his camera, undersea lighting-eventually equipping his own research vessel and sharing the world's oceans through his many films and books. Yaccarino's retro-style spreads-smoky blues and violets contrasting with vibrant reds and golds-are nicely suited to Cousteau's underwater playground; the fuzzy quality of his airbrushing makes it seem as though readers are submerged themselves. Yaccarino's somewhat abstracted forms won't satisfy children who want photo-real views of sea life, but the author's enthusiasm for Cousteau, as well as the majesty and mystery of the sea, is apparent on every page. Ages 6-9. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.