Princess Chamomile, a mouse, rebels against her royal restrictions and sets off on a jaunt beyond the castle walls. Kidnapped by the candy store propreietor (a cat), Chamomile outsmarts her captor and garners increased freedom from her regal parents. Detailed pastel watercolors picture the feisty princess's humorous escapades in the entertaining story.
The Horn Book Guide
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) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Princess Chamomile was a little mouse with a big problem. She had a strict nanny who never allowed Chamomile to wear old clothes, to go bike riding outside the walls of the castle, or to have treats. Nanny Nettle never let Chamomile have candy--not even on her own birthday. One morning Princess Chamomile slipped into shorts and an old T-shirt, tiptoed out of the castle, climbed upon her bike and went off on the hunt for a candy store. The young princess found more than she bargained for at Bags-Eye the Bad Cat's Candy Store. Bags-Eye, a cat as bad as a cat can be, decided to hold the princess for ransom. Chamomile shrewdly outwitted the cat and also enjoyed a feast of all kinds of candies. When her family found her, Chamomile was very sick and Nanny Nettle insisted that was why candy should never be allowed. Chamomile realized, however, that it was too much candy that made her sick. After that, the king, the queen, the nanny and, of course, Princess Chamomile rode bikes, ventured outside the castle walls and enjoyed candy--but not too much candy. 1999 (orig.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
K-Gr 2Chamomile is a discontented mouse princess whose nanny never allows her to wear old clothes, ride her bike outside the castle walls, or eat sweets. She sneaks out one day to do all of these things and, of course, gets herself in trouble when she visits a candy store run by a very bad cat named Bags-Eye. After he realizes she is a princess, he holds her for ransom. Unable to write, he dictates the letter to his hostage, and she writes a totally different letter that tells her parents where she is. The princess is rescued and returns home where she is allowed to do more than before, but also learns after getting a stomachache from too much candy that too much of anything may not be a good thing. Although Chamomile is clever and resourceful, she lacks the warmth and charm of Kevin Henkess mice heroines. The episode in which she is snatched up by Bags-Eye has a predatory, sinister quality that may frighten younger readers. The illustrations have a softer and more lighthearted mood and are done in a clean pastel palette. There are amusing details, but they only partially make up for the unremarkable story. Although this princess learns her lesson, she may not win childrens hearts.Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
This cautionary tale from Oram (Just Dog, 1998, etc.) has a lot of wit and sparkle, coming to a breathless close almost before it's begun. Princess Chamomile, a nice young mouse, is overprotected by her Nannie Nettle, who forbids her to leave the palace grounds, to eat candy, etc. When Chamomile has had enough of this nonsense, she runs away to the nearest candy store, run by a bad cat named Bags-Eye, who promptly considers her kidnapped. He demands she write a ransom note, since he can't read or write; she agrees, for the price of candy. Chamomile uses the note to explain her predicament and is duly rescued, though not before making herself sick on candy. Readers learn, in rapid succession, that candy is not bad, though too much of it is; that those things that are forbidden turn into never-ending temptations; and that there are consequences to pay for any act. Such lessons can't undercut the charm of this tale; Varley's watercolors are attractive and pleasing and add generously to the antic proceedings. (Picture book. 3-9)