On her birthday, right as she was blowing out her candles to make a wish, Kiki Kittie was hit on the head with a stack of fashion magazines. This transformed her into the superhero Fashion Kitty: Here to fix fashion emergencies everywhere! Kiki and her family are vegetarians, have a pet mouse, and are very fashion-forward. It’s not easy being a fashion superhero. Kiki has to have on the perfect outfit at all times or she can’t leave the house. She has to run off in the middle of dinner because her fashion sense is tingling. It’s stressful, particularly for Kiki’s mom.

In this fourth installment of the series, Kiki faces a jealous classmate who is determined to un-mask her. Leon Lambaster the III hates Fashion Kitty just because everyone else loves her. He decides to reveal her true identity to the world during the school’s awesome new t-shirt contest using the sticky yellow string his grandfather invented. How will Fashion Kitty stop this from happening?

This book is the first in the series that is not solely a graphic novel. According to her website, Harper uses chapters in this volume with the intention of helping early readers transition to chapter books. Each page still contains comic-style panels, but they are usually accompanied by paragraphs of text. The story is a little boring overall, unfortunately. It takes a very long time to set up the plot and gives a lot of unnecessary information. I can’t help but wonder if the story would have worked better as a graphic novel like the others in the series. However, the book was a cute read and taught a lesson without bashing me over the head with it. It will likely appeal mainly to girls, since it is about cats and fashion, and has pink and purple on almost every page. Luckily, there are lots of funny details that will catch the eye of boys, girls, and adults alike.

The best part of Fashion Kitty and the B.O.Y.S. is the artwork. It uses some rough lines and looks a little childish, which really suits the story. It is fun to see the fashions the characters wear, particularly in this volume, since the Kiki and her classmates are designing t-shirts for a homework assignment. The vibrant colors in the illustrations bring this book to life, which again causes me to wonder why Harper decided to make this a chapter book, instead of a graphic novel. The book end with craft ideas for readers, like designing your own t-shirts and making pillows. The crafts are pretty easy, but exciting (particularly making your own t-shirt). Parents will need to be involved on most of them.

Fashion Kitty and the B.O.Y.S. (Ball of Yellow String) is fun to read and girls, in particular, will love it. Kiki is a pretty cool cat (sorry, I had to).

Fashion Kitty and the B.O.Y.S. (Ball of Yellow String): Fashion Kitty, book 4
by Charise Mericle Harper
ISBN: 978142313654
Disney/Hyperion, 2011
Publisher Age Rating: 8 and up

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