New Book in Sea Library:


“Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau”
By Jennifer Berne
Illustrated by Éric Puybaret
Chronicle Books LLC, 2008

New book in my sea library. This year I wish to get to know the famous undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau better. Apart from a few videos and urban or marine legends, I still haven’t dived deep enough. I believe this beautifully illustrated book for children Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by American writer Jennifer Berne is a great start for a personal Cousteau adventure. The book is illustrated by an award-winning French artist Éric Puybaret, who spends much of his free time diving and enjoying the sea.


From the introduction of the book:

“Once upon a time in France, a baby was born under the summer sun. His parents named him Jacques.

As he grew, Jacques fell in love with the sea. He dreamed of breathing beneath the waves and swimming as gracefully as a fish. In fact, he longed to become a manfish.

Jacques Cousteau grew up to become a champion of the seas and one of the best-known oceanographers in the world. In this lovely biography, poetic text and gorgeous paintings come together to create a portrait of Cousteau that is as magical as it is inspiring.”


I’m really happy to have this book and will write a review later on. Nice to meet you, Mr. Cousteau!


“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”



Add yours →

  1. This looks like a really nice book. Coming up, I always wanted to be a marine biologist ever since first seeing a nat geo documentary on jellyfish…and then I tried to learn how to swim and quickly found out that I have a crippling phobia of water so decided to study literature instead. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love to swim, but only when I can still touch the ground anytime I want, so I can totally understand you. I admire divers, surfers, sailors, but I can’t imagine myself being there. But that’s the seductive feeling of forbidden fruit, or just the magnetic power of something that is so beautiful and terrifying at the same time as the sea is to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s interesting. For me it was always the idea that jellyfish, creatures composed almost entirely of water, more so than our selves, are able to make light, eat, swim, reproduce, and it all just blew my mind because they’re just congealed water. Sentient mucus. They still fascinate me but I also learned that I don’t quite have a mind for science, I’m okay with numbers and maths but the scientific method just doesn’t tickle me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree, Jellyfishes are amazing beings. Some species even can return to previous stages of development just to guarantee that they will live. In a way these species are immortal. And the fact that octopuses have three hearts! You must add some poetics to all these facts, that’s what make it wonderful. And when I read and listen what sea masters from different spheres say about the sea, they can’t avoid the magic and poetics. How experienced surfers talk about water! It’s amazing thing to research it. Although that sounds too dry. I just read and enjoy it all immensely. And my Enseaclopedia will be just a big bold love letter to the sea. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yea, the sea is something of great fear and wonder for me (even though I’ve only seen it in person twice, and only one of them, the Alantic) and it’s interesting that you mention octopi because they’re quite clever critters. I saw a documentary on them and they’re able to not only solve complex puzzles in multiple different ways but also are capable of abstract problem solving as in they can make and use tools propelling them to be much more intelligent than originally thought. They’re also one of my favourite sea critters.

        I didn’t know that about the jellyfish, being able to regress. Thank you for the TIL (Today I Learned). 🙂


  2. I must say Cousteau is impressive. He once put forth an interesting prediction where he stated that in the not so distant future, medicine might enable gills in humans, and living under the seas would be reality. If that does happen, I just hope we don’t entirely ruin it for the magnificent creatures of the sea.

    Liked by 1 person

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