Remember the recent Steampunk picture book “Her Majesty’s Explorer“? Get excited, then, Steampunk parents, parents-to-be, and young-at-heart! Author and poet Emilie P. Bush and illustrator William Kevin Petty are back in action with their second collaboration, “Steamduck Learns to Fly!”
When the chipper and eager Steamduck realizes that real birds can do something he can’t — fly — he becomes obsessed with finding a way to reach for the sky. His friend and maker, the Otter, takes him step by step through different ways of achieving flight and the necessary factors involved in each method. Each time they try, however, something goes awry and it seems that Steamduck may never get what he wants. Despite his discouraging experiences, he keeps trying, and the Otter is encouraging every step of the way. At last, something happens that surprises everyone, and proves that hard work and passion for one’s goals can make a huge difference.
Filled with clever and verbose rhyming narrative and endearing, expressive images to accompany the words, “Steamduck Learns to Fly!” proves that “Her Majesty’s Explorer” certainly was no one-off. Creators Bush and Petty work well together to create a simple but not saturated tale that keeps focus and provides a little extra oomph in the vocab department as well — which is only to be expected of young Steampunks whom the story is aimed at. There’s a touch of history and science as well, while the Otter explains the complications of flight to the hopeful Steamduck, and of course lots of heart as Steamduck pursues his dream of soaring through the clouds. It’s a beautifully made picture book for any family, and it upholds the scientific, historical, and literary values generally attributed to Steampunk while not being overbearing or cliche. Like “Her Majesty’s Explorer,” I believe that “Steamduck” is bound to be a long time favorite, and I personally hope to continue to see more from Emilie P. Bush and William Kevin Petty in the future.
“Steamduck Learns to Fly!” is available for purchase starting October 10th, 2012. Click on the cover image above to go to Amazon.com for a special discounted price!