“Our story starts many years before, in France, with a little baby boy born under the summer sun.  His parents named him Jacques.”  We're reading about the life of pioneering oceanographer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau today.  He spent his childhood wondering, playing, experimenting and creating (which are commonalities among individuals who have done great things and made significant contributions to our world).

When he was young, he saved his allowance to buy a small home-movie camera, which he promptly took apart and put back together.  He filmed everything around him.  He started diving with his friends and created a waterproof case for his camera to film the oceanic world that he began to explore.  Cousteau later co-invented the aqualung, a device that allowed him to breathe underwater for long periods of time.

Besides introducing people to the beauty of the undersea landscape, his films have also served to educate people about the devastation of oceans due to pollution.

“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.”

Words in Manfish by Jennifer Berne, illustrations by Éric Puybaret and book design by Sara Gillingham.