Lampie, the lighthouse keeper’s daughter, must light the lamp every evening to warn ships of the dangers of the rocks. One night, she forgets to fetch the matches she needs to do this and disaster follows. With her father imprisoned in the lighthouse, Lampie is sent away to work off her debt at the Admiral’s Black House where rumour tells of a hideous monster trapped in the tower. Here she finds herself caught in a strange world full of mermaids and pirates where she needs to fight for friendship, acceptance and freedom.
A compelling, magical story, ‘Lampie and the Children of the Sea’ is an enchanting tale. Lampie herself is a wonderful character, full of determination and life in the face of difficult circumstances and she spreads joy to those around her. Martha, Fish, Lenny- each respond to the appearance in their lives of this unique little girl and each is engaging. The less pleasant characters are equally believable- and easy to dislike!
The layers of the plot are beautifully managed, keeping the reader wondering as the story evolves. The writing is atmospheric and lyrical, drawing on the traditions of storytelling and folklore and the illustrations are delightful.
Essential reading for those who enjoy something a little different, ‘Lampie and the Children of the Sea’ is a challenging story which reaches a satisfying conclusion which I hope will lead to more adventures for this endearing heroine and her friends.
Lampie and the Children of the Sea Annet Schaap, translated by Laura Watkinson
Pushkin Press ISBN: 978-1782692188
Published May 2019