Lampie has always been a responsible kid. With a vanished mother, an alcoholic father, and a lighthouse to run, she has no choice. But one night, disaster strikes: the lighthouse lamp goes out and a ship is wrecked. Lampie is packed off in disgrace to work off the debt at the Admiral’s ominously nicknamed Black House. 

When the stories of the Black House monster turn out to conceal a marvelous secret, Lampie discovers a world of wonder. This spellbinding what-if sequel to The Little Mermaid stars pirates, mermaids, carnival curiosities, and one girl’s fight for friendship, freedom, and the right to be different. (From Charlesbridge)

This story by Dutch illustrator and writer, Annet Schaap, was first released in 2017. The English translation, to be released this month, will make it available to a wider audience. You’re in for a dark tale that keeps you reading in hopes of a happy ending for our young heroine, Lampie.

She can’t read or write, has no real friends, but still pushes on through all the twists and turns of her life. When Lampie arrives at the Black House things don’t get any better until she discovers the so called monster in the tower room. Their relationship gets off to a rough start when “Fish” as she calls him bites her and draws blood. It’s a slow go to BFF territory from there, but what Lampie does for both of them will effect each of their lives in profound ways.

The third person narration stays with Lampie most of the way, but there are also moments with the father, Fish the monster, and a few other secondary characters. If you like fairy tales and dark plots, you have the perfect one here.

English Version Release: October 13, 2020 Page Count: 352


  1. The story has six parts and the art work that starts each section off is amazing.
  2. I’m happy to say this is not a Little Mermaid rehash. It’s a fantasy that sits nicely on its own.
  3. Lampie has such an innocent personality that you instantly want to help her as she does for others. A strong lovable character you won’t forget.
  4. The monster’s character arc will make you smile.
  5. I think kids will like this one more than adults. I guess that makes me a kid at heart.


Annet was born in Ochten and grew up in the village of Maartensdijk, near Utrecht. She studied illustration at the Kunstacademie in Kampen and at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.

She has been working as an illustrator for thirty years and has illustrated over 200 books, including the How Do I Survive series, the Superjuffie series, and the work of Jacques Vriens. Annet spent two and a half years traveling across North America in a motorhome named “Molly” with her husband and son.

Her debut novel, Lampje, was first published in her home country of the Netherlands, where she now lives with her family. Lampje has won four prizes, including the best Dutch children’s book of the year for 2018; it has been released in the UK as Lampie and the Children of the Sea and is now available in the United States as Of Salt & Shore.


I received an ARC to complete this review. Comments are welcome below.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to OF SALT AND SHORE

  1. Natalie Aguirre says:

    Love the cover so would be interested to read this to see the illustrations. Sounds like a great story that I’d like. Guess that make me a kid too.

  2. I’m not familiar with this book at all, but it sounds like a great story and I’m very happy to see that books in other languages are beginning to be translated for English readers. There’s so much out there that good.Thanks for letting us know about it.

  3. Lighthouses are always intriguing. Might have to take a look at this one.

  4. Not a fan of dark stories, but this one feels like it has a lot of heart — and it’s a fantasy. You immediately identify with Lampie’s situation. I am curious about the monster. I think kids will enjoy the story. Thanks for sharing.

  5. The Little Mermaid angle is intriguing me. I’ve loved The Little Mermaid since forever (and yes, that means the Hans Christian Anderson version; although I also learned to love the Disney version as well).

  6. Antoinette Truglio Martin says:

    Great cover and intriguing review. Thanks

  7. Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    This sounds like an excellent novel! I’m definitely intrigued by the monster and the tie-in to The Little Mermaid. Thanks for the great review!

  8. That cover is very inviting. I do love stories with the monster-who-isn’t in them. This one sounds terrific. Thanks for telling me about it.

  9. This sounds like a fascinating book. I love the cover and I think that the artwork you mentioned inside must be a delight. I will definitely have to check this one out. Thanks for sharing and for hosting MMGM. 🙂

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