Sally N. Kamerling

Children's Writer and Author of The Golden Cap


 When I was a little girl I remember sitting on my grandmother’s lap at the kitchen table at the family farm. It was there she told me about growing up in a small fishing village in the Netherlands, about helping her grandmother mend the fishing nets and helping her mother care for her little brother and sisters. I also remember a bright and beautiful book about Holland, with pictures of Dutch children in wooden shoes, windmills, tulips and beautiful canals. I carried those memories with me for many years and dreamed I would visit Holland someday.


When I was a little older my father told me a story about a mysterious golden cap, sold to pay for my grandmother’s trip to America. I couldn’t imagine anyone wearing a golden cap, so that made me  determined to go to Holland when I grew up to find out more about the story, and I did just that.

But it took me a long time because first I became a nurse/teacher and worked for many years. I met my husband who grew up in Holland, raised a family of my own, and finally realized my dream. After I visited my grandmother’s birth place and found out about the golden cap, I knew I had to tell her story.


The Golden Cap is my first picture book. I hope you enjoy it. I also hope you will search for your own story. Ask questions! Find out about your own family history. Who knows what treasures you might find.

— Sally

Welcome to The Golden Cap

The Golden Cap

By Sally N. Kamerling

Illustrated by Marie Sanderson


Etje, the oldest girl in a family of seven children living in a small fishing village in the Netherlands, faces a heart-rending problem. It is the late 1800’s and her papa has decided to take the family to America where there is plenty of work and opportunity. But Etje’s dearly loved grandmother, Beppe, wants Etje to stay with her in Holland. After much deliberation, Etje’s papa allows her to stay behind with Beppe and that choice leads to events which form the heart of the story.


Beppe teaches Etje to help her mend the fishing nets. Side by side they work and wait for a letter from America. When the letter finally arrives it contains sad news. Etje’s mother died unexpectedly soon after her arrival in America. Now she will have to leave Beppe and go to America to help her father care for the children. Where will they get the money to pay for such an expensive trip?


At this time in the province of Friesland, in the Netherlands, it was the custom for women to wear golden caps, covered with a lace cap. Beppe wore the golden cap passed down to her by her mother. It was the one thing of value she owned and she wore it with pride. She decides to sell her treasured cap to pay for Etje’s trip to America.

The Golden Cap is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Create Space.


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©2019 Sally N. Kamerling. It is unlawful to copy, download or distribute any of the content and Golden Cap illustrations from this website. Illustrations by Marie Sanderson ©2017. Website Design by