cover image Princess Chamomile Gets Her Way

Princess Chamomile Gets Her Way

Hiawyn Oram, Hiawyn Cram. Dutton Children's Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-46148-7

Being a princess is no fairy tale for young mouse Chamomile, heroine of this sprightly offering from the author and illustrator of Badger's Bad Mood. Princess Chamomile's strict nanny rules in extremes, forbidding sweets (""even at [Chamomile's] own birthday parties!""), bicycling beyond the castle walls, etc. One morning, tired of being a ""Not-Allowed,"" Chamomile escapes on her bicycle, making a beeline for the most forbidden place of all-the candy store. The candy store owner, a cat who spends much of his time wondering ""how bad a bad cat could be,"" sees the tiara-wearing mouse as a ticket to ransomed riches. Chamomile's clever thinking thwarts the would-be kidnapper and also wins her a mountain of sweets. The sugary spoils give her a royal stomachache but inspire a reevaluation of Nanny Nettle's draconian policies. This crisply paced adventure once again showcases Oram's on-the-mark understanding of childhood emotions and frustrations. Varley's airy, humorous watercolors (the mouse-head topiaries are hilarious) are most engaging when depicting the royal household in an uproar. Her cat kidnapper is appropriately scraggly and beady-eyed, but not too sinister, and a view of a gleeful Chamomile licking her lips in front of a candy display is not to be missed. Ages 3-9. (May)