Mary & Ada


Hey! I’m working on something fun and steampunky for author Jordan Stratford. I finished this sketch of the two main characters today. Ada and Mary. This has been such a great project. I can’t resist drawing girls in pretty dresses. I feel like I’m 8 again when that’s pretty much all I drew. Jordan is launching his campaign on Sunday to fund the production of this fabulous sounding book:

by Jordan Stratford

London 1826: The Advent of the Steam Age

11 year old Ada has a problem: her governess, Miss Coverlet, has quit her job to go get married (a dumb idea if ever there was one, if you ask Ada) and her new tutor Percy (“Peebs”) is a total drip.  She’d rather be left to her own devices – literally – inventing things and solving math problems and ignoring people altogether.

She’s also forced to study alongside the imaginative girlie-girl Mary, who’s always going on about romance and exotic travels.  Fortunately, Mary’s appetite for adventure leads her to propose the two girls open a detective agency, and when an heiress shows up with a case about a missing diamond, it’s the perfect puzzle to coax Ada out of her shell.

This is the made up story about two very real girls – Ada, the world’s first computer programmer, and Mary, the world’s first science fiction author – caught up in a steampunk world of hot-air balloons and steam engines, jewel thieves and mechanical contraptions.  For readers 8-12.

This is a pro-math, pro-science, pro-history and pro-literature adventure novel for and about girls, who use their education to solve problems and catch a jewel thief.  Ada and Mary encounter real historical characters, such as Percy Shelley, Charles Babbage, Michael Faraday, and Charles Dickens – people whom the girls actually knew.  If Jane Austen wrote about zeppelins and brass goggles, this would be the book.”

15 Responses to “Mary & Ada”

  1. kylie gusset

    the amount of money that i’m spending on crowdsourced funding sites is getting ridiculous! if anyone had told me that i’d be backing a book that was “pro-math, pro-science, pro-history and pro-literature adventure novel ” i’d tell them they were smoking crack. consider me sold.your drawings are so stunning, and i immediately “get it”. can’t wait. so proud of you!

  2. Mel W

    Oh my goodness I want this book for my daughter so badly! I will head over to kickstarter on the weekend to see what he needs.

  3. Saskia

    My 7-year old son would absolutely devour this book. It sounds fab, and your illos are amazing, as usual. When I think of girl steampunkers, I think of Tank Girl. Your chicks rock in an entirely different way!

  4. cj

    Wonderful! We are SO in. Thank you for working on such an incredible project!

  5. jen storer

    so lovely! I’ll be chasing this book for sure! DId you know, dear looby, that Michael Pryor (aussie steampunk author) spoke at L’Oreal fashion week in Melb last month? They did a steampunk production. how cool is that?? xx

  6. Jen

    I want this book for my kids and niece. Please tell us when it’s published? Please???

  7. Margaret

    What a lovely idea, and what a lovely illustration. Please post the Kickstarter link once it’s live!

  8. sooz

    Oh Claire – I’m speechless with desire. I want the book right now. Amy would have to wait until I was finished – get in line kid! I also really really wish I could draw like that. I hope it comes together.


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