Monday, October 06, 2008

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau

by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Eric Puybaret. Chronicle Books, 2008. We just got this lovely book into our library. Every year our second graders read biographies and they study the ocean so when they come to the media center I read them a biography of Cousteau in October. In the past I've read Catherine Reef's 1992 biography from the Earth Keepers series. It's a good story but it's a little long to read in 15 minute sections in the library. It doesn't have great pictures.

I am thrilled with Manfish. The illustrations are stunning. On some pages the text flows through the water getting larger and smaller in waves or changes direction as if it were made of bubbles. It is a delight to read and I am sure the second graders are going to love it.

The text follows Cousteau's life closely, starting from when he was a boy growing up in France and first discovered the sea with all its mystery and beauty. One of the things I like best about telling the second graders about Cousteau is that his life long ambitions started as the dreams of a boy their age. He changed the world for good with the passions he discovered in childhood.

At the very end of this book the author leaves us with the words:

Jacques dreamed that someday it would be you, exploring worlds never seen, never imagined. Whole new worlds, silent and shimmering. Worlds that are now yours. To discover. To care for. And to love.

Fabulous! Other blog reviews:

The Well Read Child

Shelf Elf

Abby (the) Librarian

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

And as always on Monday, Picturebook of the Day has the Nonfiction Monday roundup. Cheers!

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