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The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,099 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Jacques Cousteau was the world s ambassador of the oceans. His popular TV series brought whales, otters, and dolphins right into people s living rooms. Now, in this exciting picturebook biography, Dan Yaccarino introduces young readers to the man behind the snorkel.
From the first moment he got a glimpse of what lived under the ocean s waves, Cousteau was hooked. And so he
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino is a children's book about a man who loved the sea and wanted to share all its loveliness with the world.

The book starts out in his childhood and progresses through his life of underwater adventures. The book also discusses his ideas and inventions for viewing and staying below water longer by use of an aqua lung.

"When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to h
Sep 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable and informative glimpse into the life of Jacques Cousteau, particularly his inventions for exploring the fantastic world beneath the waves. I especially appreciated the quotes scattered throughout the book so we could hear things in Cousteau's own words.

If one is seeking picture book biographies of Cousteau, this one will inevitably be compared to Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau and I think both are worthy tributes to the subject. The illustrations in "Fantastic Undersea" are
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Readers Interested in Jacques Cousteau
An engaging picture-book biography of the famous French scientist, inventor, explorer, and pioneering underwater film-maker, Dan Yaccarino's The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau has the kind of bold cover-art that will immediately draw the young reader in. With black and white panels, a stylishly elongated Cousteau, and a title in colorful type, the cover mirrors the excitement within, as Cousteau's eventful life - his many discoveries, inventions and honors - is set out in a simple, ...more
Robb Rugeroni
Yaccarino, Dan. The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau (2009). eBook. Read “In Browser” mode.
As a child of the 1970’s, there is a special sentiment reserved for the pioneers who, knowingly or not, took it upon themselves to broaden the world with their endeavors during that time. Jacques Cousteau was one of those pioneers and his life’s work and words are captured elegantly in author Dan Yaccarino’s book for children. Each page is a combination of quotes from Cousteau, descriptive text
This is another great book with insights into the life of Jacques Cousteau! Previously I had read Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau which I also thoroughly enjoyed! I think my sister put it best when she said that "Manfish" gives more information on Cousteau's younger life, and this book gives more information on his young adult/early adult years. Personally, I enjoyed the illustrations in "Manfish" a little more (a tad more realistic) but that is purely personal and I thought these illustrat ...more
Dan Blackley
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This is one of the best books for learning about Jacques Cousteau and the illustrations are amazing! I saw the poster for this book and looked for it for three months before finding a copy. I really enjoyed this book about a man who saw conservation before anyone else did and what he did about it.
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographical
Cute. I love the various quotes by Cousteau throughout the book, as well as the fact that the illustrations are so much more colorful and filled out when Jacques is under water than when he is on dry land. I found myself wising for some actual photos, however, when the book began mentioning some of Cousteau's discoveries. ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
My Thoughts:
The text of this book wowed me. I could not stop reading to see what would happen to Cousteau. I liked its simplicity and its clearness. I liked how accessible the text was, even for the youngest of readers.

The illustrations were fun and cartoonish. I didn’t like the colors the Yaccarino used for the water at first, every color except ocean blue, I think, but the colors grew on me, and I grew to love them. I was very surprised how much the children liked this book and how much they w
The Reading Countess
Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a new biography that my librarian allowed me to preview before she put it on the shelves. I'm glad she did, since I really liked it and read it aloud to my students. Most of them had never heard of this great man, and it saddened me. They were fascinated that he invented so many of the tools of underwater sea exploration that we now take for granted. I used this book to talk about life lessons applied to our own lives (we call this the SO-WHAT in our class). ...more
Lili Martin
Feb 13, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was amazing. It had awesome pics in it and it's really easy to read because it only takes one day. In such a short book it can tell you a lot about him. Here's a fact, Jacques got in a car accident but never gave up his under water life. He swam, explored the under world, and designed a new snorkeling suite. Wow is he good. That's good for someone who had a hard child life. ...more
Joanne Roberts
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding introduction to pioneer scientist/inventor/celebrity. As colorful as a coral reef. Text and art communicate the MC's passion while entertaining the reader with factual tidbits. Narrative compares his boyhood interests with his adult accomplishments. created in a style easy for young readers to absorb. ...more
A marvelous introduction to Jacques Cousteau's life and work-- in particular his many inventions that made sea exploration possible. Stunning illustrations. ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Title: The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau

Author/Illustrator: Dan Yaccarino

Genre: Biography

Theme: Exploration, Perseverance, Passion

Opening Line/sentence: “Jacques Cousteau loved the sea. He spent his whole life exploring it”

Brief Book Summary: The book focuses on Jacque Cousteau’s time spent filming the seas and traveling the world. It begins with his sick childhood, where he discovers his love of the sea, and moves quickly into his adult life. It includes a focus on some of the inv
Megan Reed
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edli-200
Category/Genre: Picture Book/Narrative Nonfiction

Copyright Date: 2012

Estimate of age level of interest: Grades K - 3

Estimate of reading level: Grade 4

Brief description:

This full color picture book shares the biography of Jacques Cousteau. It begins with his love of the ocean as a boy and follows his life as he develops into a famous photographer and researcher.

Two characteristics of picture books/narrative nonfiction that appear in this book:

1. One characteristic of good picture books is the e
Oak Lawn Public Library - Youth Services
Title: The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau
Author: Dan Yaccarino
Pages: 32
Lexile level: AD840L
Recommendations & Comments: Jacques Cousteau gained strength from the ocean. First by building up his muscles swimming, then by learning how many unexplored wonders were in the seas. As he worked to understand more about the ocean’s great depths and life, he helped to invent several types of equipment we know today, including SCUBA. The book explores his inventions as well as how he used them
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching-reading
“The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau” by Dan Yaccarino, published by Dragonfly Books; copyright 2012

1. Awards: No awards.
2. Appropriate grade level: K-3rd grade
3. Summary: This book tells the story Jacques Cousteau’s life. Jacque Cousteau spent his life discovering and filming undersea life.
4. Review: I really enjoyed learning about Jacques Cousteau through reading this book. The style of illustration is very interesting to look at. The author does a great job at summarizing his lif
Jo Oehrlein
A Jacques Cousteau quote on every page in a circle.

Some issues with contrast between the background and the text in places.

A nice bibliography of the ocean explorer that influenced so many people.
Viviane Elbee
A short & sweet biography of Jacques Cousteau with lovely illustrations.
Mrs. Ruigrok
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot about Jacques Cousteau reading this book. About his early life, some of his discoveries and his quest to protect the ocean. Beautiful illustrations. A great book!
Laurie Dunlap
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book for children as both an introduction to the amazing oceanographer and to reading biographies!
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Inspiring and thought-provoking story of this explorer and champion of the world's oceans. Bright and bold illustrations capture the eye, and Cousteau's biography captures the imagination. ...more
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3rd-sea
Beautiful pictures, beautiful story and I love the quotes throughout.
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good picture book introduction to the life of Jacques Cousteau. This book mostly chronicles his interest in marine life.
This is a nice introduction to the life of Jacques Cousteau and his beliefs regarding exploring and protecting the oceans. The illustrations are large and vibrant, and help to capture the imagination of young (and older) readers. The author's notes at the end give a good timeline of the events in Cousteau's life. This makes a good nonfiction addition to my classroom library. ...more
My ocean-lover enjoyed this, but we wish more of the afterward made it in to the main text of the story.
Mercedes Wood
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-library
Out of the many picture books that I have read, this is probably one of if not the most informational books, which I just love. I also love the illustrations by Dan Yaccarino, it's abstract, which always gets to me. I simply adore this story about a Frenchman who did so much. ...more
Tony Montez
Jacques Cousteau was sick growing up. As a child and through his whole life he always had a facination with two things, water, and inventing. The doctor told Jacques that swimming would help to build up his muscles and help him grown stronger and healthier. As he was growing up and getting better, he was in a terrible car accident that messed up his arms and he was told he would have to wear braces on them for the rest of his life. Again Jacques took to the water and eventually made him a
Gail Reese
The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau invites us to learn more about the man who became oceans' most important advocate. We are introduced to the reasons Cousteau loved the oceans, underwater life and exploring, while enjoying Dan Yaccarino's beautiful illustrations. This biographical tale will inspire young and old to put on a pair of goggles and see what the ocean holds.

I absolutely LOVED this book, so much more I expected to. I have never had a real interest in learni
Jacqueline Campos
Jacques Cousteau was a curious man who loved inventing things and loved the ocean. His love for the ocean opened its secrets to the world because Jacques Cousteau found a way to capture its beauty and share it with everyone.

Jacques Cousteau states that “sometimes we are lucky enough to know that our lives have been changed.” (Kindle version at 27%, location 35 of 138). I like this saying because there have been very few times in my life where I felt this way. He says this when he first receive
Kyla C.
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Parents/Teachers/ Students
Jacques Cousteau was just a young boy when doctors told him he’d have to wear arm braces for the rest of his life. But his love of the water gave him strength. One day a friend gave him goggles and his life changed forever. With his love of water and tinkering Jacques invented things that would help him breath underwater for long periods of time. Jacques discovered many things in the sea and shot the first underwater film ever made. He wanted to share his love of the sea with everyone and he wan ...more
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Exhibitions of his work have been held throughout the world. He is also the creator of the animated TV Series Willa's Wild Life and Oswald.

Mr. Yaccarino lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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