Review sponsored by Sally N. Kamerling
The Children’s Book Review | November 15, 2016
Written by Sally N. Kamerling
Illustrated by Marie Sanderson
Age Range: 6-10 years
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
What to expect: Historical-Fiction, Family, Dutch Culture and Traditions, Immigration
The Golden Cap is a picture book story about Etje, a young girl living in Holland with her family in the late 1800s. At the start of the story, her father announces that the family is going to move to America, and from that point Etje’s world is turned upside down. As the family plans to move, Etje learns that her grandmother, Beppe, has requested that she remain in their small fishing village while her parents, sisters, and baby brother proceed with the move to America. What follows in the story are events that are framed by Dutch culture and the traditions of the time, along with a timeless representation of finding strength within family bonds.
Throughout the story, Sally N. Kamerling provides rich, sensory-filled depictions of Etje’s world:
“From there we watched the clouds and the wide changing sky.
From there we felt the endless wind.
From there we smelled the sharp, salt scent of the sea.”
The vivid backdrop that is created makes it clear that Etje has a strong connection with her village and family, demonstrating how hard it would be to leave. The inevitable sadness that accompanies the family’s departure and subsequent arrival in America is felt through the writing, but with that sorrow there is also an optimism that shines brightly through Etje’s relationship with her grandmother.
Marie Sanderson’s illustrations in The Golden Cap are presented with a colorful softness that embodies the family’s love and emotion throughout the story. They compare life in Holland with the new reality of America, and are beautiful compositions accompanying the touching story.
The Golden Cap would be well suited for young readers seeking out a story about a family passing love down from one generation to the next. It would also be ideal for families looking for a story related to Dutch culture.
About the Author
Sally Kamerling started writing while working full time as a nurse. She earned a BSN from Columbia University school of Nursing, an MS in Education from the State University of New York, and is a graduate of the Institute for Children’s Literature. She has written for a number of children’s magazines including Faces, Boy’s Quest, Club House Jr., DevoZine, and Boy’s Life. Her work has also been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul.
The Golden Cap is based on a family story and is her first picture book.
About the Illustrator
Marie Sanderson is an artist, author/illustrator living in Ithaca, NY. She gets daily inspiration for paintings, illustrations, and stories from the beautiful New York countryside and from her delightful and irrepressible grandchildren! She very much enjoyed working with Cortland author Sally Kamerling to bring Sally’s family story onto the page. She has been drawing and painting most of her life and considers herself very fortunate to have studied with Ithaca artist Camille Doucet. Marie is a member of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. Sally Kamerling, the author of “The Golden Cap,” sponsored this non-biased review. Learn more about getting a book review …
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