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Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau (Books of Discovery for Creative Kids Contruction Fort Books)
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Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau (Books of Discovery for Creative Kids Contruction Fort Books)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,290 ratings  ·  205 reviews
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.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 23rd 2008 by Chronicle Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Neo would like to scuba dive when he is bigger and swims with greater ease.
Last night was a really, really good night for children's books--I read many five-star books--and this one started it off right. It's a beautifully told story of Jacques Cousteau, famous oceanographer, from his first curiosity and infatuation with the sea to his inventions to his movies and exploration to his conservation efforts. An interesting biographical note in the back is included. All I can say is, what a cool and inspiring guy! I love how the story shows how his childhood dreams and ...more
Gorgeous, short but sweet book that highlights Jacques Cousteau's life. The language is simple and perfect for appealing to kids. I really love that it tries to get children involved in protecting our environment by linking it to Cousteau's message, especially on the final page of the story.

The main thing I wanted to mention is that I originally read the ebook version of this since it was available right away from my library. It was... nice but I knew I was missing something. So I ended up
Montzalee Wittmann
Great story for kids!

Manish is a great story of the inspirational and brilliant Jacques Cousteau! I grew up wanting to watch his every show and read his every article! He followed his dream and this is what this book shows.
I know about Mr. Cousteau, but I admit that I know a very small amount of details (I blush to admit this). So, it was very enlightening for me to read "Manfish" which tells of Cousteau's childhood and young adult life, and how his various interests worked together to help him become one of the people to first document never-before-seen underwater life.

I really enjoyed this story. I thought the narrative did a good job of keeping the flow of the story, even though it skips several years in
Aug 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
I have my 4 year-old twin grandsons 4 afternoons a week and they are my picture book testers. They picked this up off the new book shelf today at the library and had to read it the minute we got home. It was a hit with them - we read it three times in a row - and with me too! This is a beautifully illustrated and inspiring story of the great Jacques Cousteau. The pages are in lovely shimmery colors conveying the sense of water and the beautiful world beneath the sea. Cousteau's inventive and ...more
Bubbles rising through the silence of the sea...

Another beautiful tribute to a curious little boy. Manfish shows us that Jacques Cousteau was many things- an explorer, a filmmaker, a conservationist, and an inventor. Young children will enjoy exploring the underwater world through the beautiful illustrations of fish, coral, whales, and other sea life.

La Coccinelle
When I read a biography--even in picture-book format--I have certain expectations. It can't just be airy-fairy text and illustrations without giving me specific facts. While this book does offer some information about Jacques Cousteau's life and what he did, it fails to offer even the basics such as when he actually lived. I shouldn't have to Google that after the fact (unfortunately, that information wasn't even included in the author's note).

The illustrations are nice, but kind of bland. I
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
1. My favorite part of this book was the one page where you had to turn the book the opposite way as if you were deep in the ocean with Jacques.
2. In the author's note it says that whatever he was exploring he would start off with a cry. "Il faut aller voir" which translates to "We must go and see for ourselves." I loved this so much. I am very much this person when I am exploring in the woods.
3. "From the very beginning little Jacques loved water-the way it felt on his hands, his face, his
Ms. Shoshana
This is a great biography for young kids, older preschoolers through early elementary. It's a little long for most read-aloud settings, but it clearly introduces the subject in a way that demonstrates why a kid might be interested in learning about Cousteau. The illustrations are whimsical but fitting. The back matter is short but high quality.

I'm visiting a class of four and five year olds learning about France, and I'm going to try this!
Zoey the Squirrel
Mar 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: zoey-aty-52-2018
I didn't like it , it was boring, except I liked the water parts with the fish
Lauren Paravate
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-31-40
Summary: This book is a story about the life of Jacques Cousteau and all that he has discovered. He grew up very interested in the ocean and wanting to discover all that was in it. Him and his friends created things for scuba diving where they could stay underwater longer. They then decided to explore the word's oceans on their ship the Calypso. They filmed all the plants and animals that they found in the ocean and created movies from what they discovered. Later in his life he became an ...more
Thanks to Carrie Gelson (where There’ gives me many terrific recommendations), I discovered this book that’s been out for a few years, and belongs in the group of terrific picture book biographies that all should be aware of. I grew up watching Jacques Cousteau’s amazing documentaries on television, and although I was born by the ocean, we moved to land-locked Missouri before I could really experience it. It was a long time before I really “saw” the ocean, so Cousteau’s work ...more
Stephanie Metcalf
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
This beautiful biography about the life of Jacques Cousteau is captivating from the very first sentence. "...a manfish, swimming, diving into the unknown, exploring underwater worlds no one had ever seen and no one could ever have imagined." I want to discover new worlds! I love the ocean and teaching about it. This book will be a wonderful addition to my ocean unit for my K/1 students, but I believe it would be a wonderful addition for 2nd and 3rd grade students as well. I can't wait to ask my ...more
Audience: Primary
Genre: Biography
Fiction twin text: A Swim Through the Sea by Kristin Joy Pratt (ebook 2013)

In "A Swim Through the Sea," kids take a journey with Seamore the seahorse through the sea and through the alphabet. There are 26 different species Seamore meets - one for each letter of the alphabet. This book is full of alliterations - like "Seamore might meet many munching manatees." This book pairs well with "Manfish" because the story of Jacques Cousteau is about a boy that grows
Amy Brown
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent biography of Jacques Cousteau for young readers with a wonderful message to protect our planet and marine life! There are additional suggested resources in the back, including Cousteau's movies, books, and The Cousteau Society website (
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really love the Eric Puybaret illustrations and the text with its focus on discovery and inquiry was also really, really good.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book Title: Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau
Author/Illustrator: Jennifer Berne
Reading Level: LG
Book Level: 4.3
Book Summary:
This is the story of Jacques Cousteau. This book tells his story as boyhood fascination with underwater exploration and filming become his lifelong devotion to ocean conservation and exploration.

Bookshelf Mentor Writing Trait:
Word Choice- In Manfish, Jennifer Berne, uses great vocabulary words (warship, waterproof, shimmering, prickly googles, villain, stalks,
Bri Lunde
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
What an amazing biography with captivating illustrations! This book tells the life of Jacques Cousteau one of the most profound oceanographers. It starts out by telling about Jacques at an early age and how even then he was obsessed with water and dreaming of one day being able to breathe underwater. The story then goes on to tell about his creations and engineering projects as a young boy and how he was fascinated by finding out how things worked which eventaully led him into film making. Later ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a deep sea driver who as a child has been interested and intrigued about the underwater world. He discovers different underwater creatures and shows a passion for the ocean. Throughout the story he collects a film which helps him to understand the underwater world and think about how he is going to dive down to the deep ocean.

This book would be good for expanding children’s knowledge because it would help children to understand about oxygen tanks and how deep sea diver
Manfish is one of the new books I, our library, and it arrived just in time for my lesson introducing 2nd grade to the Biography section of the library. Tied to a Mystery Science video entitled "How Deep is the Ocean," I've enjoyed sharing this story and discussing those things we might want to know about a person. What was included, what wasn't, and for my older grades, this has led to discussion of the importance of using multiple sources of information when doing research. For example, a ...more
Sarah Corrieri
A young boy who was born in France was born under the sun. As he grew older he became in love with the sea and all things that live in the sea. He, himself, wished he could be a 'seaman' and swim all day with the fish. His love for the sea continued to grow all of his life and he became one of the world's best oceanographers. What an inspiring book for children and adults. A love you have as a child can turn into a life long adventure. It wasn't only a job to him, but a lifestyle.
Students could
Lindsey P
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Although the illustrator/author included creative images they did not help portray the story or scene that was occurring at the time. This book was entertaining but not much information or learning was gained after reading this book which was a surprise to me. Overall, this book fits the genre listed as a nonfiction but not much adequate enjoyment came after reading. The language could be clearer but it does suit the text or story behind the book to help the concept being described through the ...more
Manfish was written by Jennifer Berne and Illustrated by Eric Puybaret. It was also published in 2008. This book tells the story of Jeaques Cousteau, the first man to dive deep under water, and the first to catch it all on film. This books tells the story of Jeaques as he grows up highlighting key moments in his life that led to him later developing the "aqualung" which allowed him to breather underwater, and making movies using the footage he took to show everyone the creature what live in the ...more
Ava Petticrew
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. This book is beautifully told. The little boy was so curious and he wanted to know more and more. I feel like this book teaches children to think outside the box and maybe will inspire them to want to know more about things that interest them. This book was told by a narrator, and normally I like when a story is told by the character more but I feel like it fit the book better to be told by the narrator. The illustration were beautiful! They did a great job of making the ...more
Stefanie Burns
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I've known the name of Jacques Cousteau for a very long time, but really knew nothing about him. Here his introduced in a very child-friendly manner. I did hope for a few more facts and was looking for them in an Author's note and they weren't there. I thought for sure the time period or date or year of death would be included somewhere. That would be a first question for many students: "When did he live?" or "Is he still alive?" or "When did he die?" (For some reason, this is always a ...more
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Manfish is a gorgeously illustrated picture book biography which captures Cousteau's life, work, and activism. Starting from childhood, the book details how Cousteau became fascinated with the ocean and found a way to swim underwater for long periods of time. The book them goes into details how Jacques filmed underwater and began to see the effects of pollution on the ocean climate. This would be a great read aloud and a fantastic book to be part of a climate change or environmental unit. Back ...more
Becky B
A picture book biography of underwater explorer, conservationist, filmographer, and inventor Jacques Cousteau.

A beautifully illustrated biography of the man who opened up the world underwater to the world. I vaguely knew that Cousteau had invented some things to do with underwater filmography but I had no idea how many inventions he came up with. His name was just synonymous to me with underwater movies and TV shows, but there was so much more to this man's accomplishments. A great read for fish
Page Tavares
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Manfish is the story of the life of Jacques Cousteau. Beginning with his childhood in France and then explaining how he made underwater exploration possible while also exploring his passion for saving the underwater environment.
I would absolutely incorporate this book into my classroom. One of the wonderful characteristics of the book was how it managed to make complicated topics so simple and easy to understand such as how Jacques Cousteau and his friends made scuba gear and fins to explore
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another children's picture book biography, this time of someone I've at least heard of. I grew up watching Jacques Cousteau on tv. I don't think I realized until much later that he had basically invented scuba diving. This book was good at capturing Cousteau's early life. I wish it had figured out a better way to cover his later life. And the jump shift at the end, talking about trying to save the seas was jarring and didn't work all that well. pretty good afterwards.
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