Galileo and Jacques Cousteau were both explorers of uncharted territories – and now, btoh also have wonderful new picture book biographies!

jacques_cousteau.jpgThe Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau
by Dan Yaccarino

Dragonfly Books
ISBN: 978 0 375 84470 6

This book tells, in simple terms, of Cousteau’s deep love for the ocean and the many innovations he made to help share the wonders of the deep with people around the world. It also adds, at the end, some important times in Cousteau’s life and some sources for further learning.

Told in text accessible to a child and illustrated in Yaccarino’s signature bold, graphic style, this is a wonderful book for sharing with a child or even a group – the language is quite read-aloud-able. This one is a charmer, and leads nicely into a world of books about underwater creatures. I’m really quite taken with it!

i galileo.jpgI, Galileo
by Bonnie Christensen

Alfred A Knopf
ISBN: 978 0 375 86753 8

Told in the voice of an elderly Galileo, this picture book tells the story of his life and introduces us to his discoveries and inventions, as well as telling the unfortunate tale of his rise in fame and subsequently, his relationship to the powerful church, who opposed his theories and punished him for heresy. A timeline and lists of his discoveries and inventions, as well as information about others mentioned in the book are all found at the end, to round out the information presented here.

Beautiful illustrations and a slightly old-fashioned writing style add to the atmosphere created in the book, as well, making it quite a lovely way to learn the basic facts about Galileo’s story. There are some diagrams and reference to other scientists here that make this book one for a slightly older or more knowledgeable child, but it’s a great introduction to the world of renaissance science and the kind of discoveries that changed the way we see our world.

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