Yaccarino, D. (2009). The fantastic undersea life of Jacques Cousteau. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN: 9780375955730
Annotation: Jacques Cousteau was a sickly boy who began swimming to build muscles and discovered that he loved the water. He also loved to figure out how things worked. As an adult, he combined his those two loves to become an expert on the ocean.
Reaction: Yaccarino includes quotes from Cousteau in a colorful bubble on each page, which adds a really nice touch to this biography. I thought Cousteau’s life was fascinating, and, as a SCUBA diver, I am thankful for his curious spirit that ultimately led to my own underwater adventures. He is a wonderful example of overcoming physical limitations to follow a dream.
Yaccarino’s brightly colored art is whimsical and captures the surrealism of swimming underwater with fishes for extended periods of time. The fluidity of his lines conveys the movement of water and everything in it.
This book is on the 2011 Students’ List for “Books receiving votes for Top Ten Favorites from students in Summer 2011.”
Media Used: Gouache and airbrush on watercolor paper.