Author: Emilie P Bush and Illustrated by William Kevin Petty
Series: Coal City Stories
Age/Audience: children, early readers
Genre/Style: Prose rhyming picture book with intermediate level sentences
Read If You Like: Existential crisis in children’s literature, ducks, overcoming obstacles
Steamduck has always been happy floating around rivers and lakes, but when he sees a gaggle of geese fly over head he knows something is missing that makes it clear he isn’t a real duck. With the help of his tinker creator Otter, they begin investigating the best ways to get Steamduck up into the air. They try balloons and other ways, but nothing seems to get him off the ground. Finally, after several tries, the tinker has a surprise for Steamduck that shows him all rewards mean more when you truly earn them.
Bottom Line: Lovely simply colored illustrations paired with a heart-wrenchingly sweet story make this story a delight. However, it should be noted, the meter is very forced, but it does keep young and old readers focused.