The first in a new chapter book series introduces a girl who can turn into a cat.
Koemi “Kitty” Kimura loves cats more than anything (hence her nickname), but she’s allergic to them. When the Japanese-American girl’s white best friend, Jenny, invites Kitty to see her new pale gray kitten, Misty, Kitty’s Japanese-born grandmother allows her to go as long as she wears a family heirloom: a small charm imprinted with a picture of a cat. Fleetingly, Kitty wonders how a pendant can stop her from sneezing but quickly puts the thought aside for a sleepover at Jenny’s. Later, Kitty has an uncontrollable sneezing fit that turns her into a cat. Fortunately, Misty is there to welcome Kitty to the world of cats. On their first midnight adventure, they run into two bullies: a pair of twin Persians named Fang and Claws. Kitty and Misty report the troublemakers to the local Cat Council, the keepers of feline order. At her first council meeting, Kitty discovers she’s the latest in an ancient matrilineal line of Cat Guardians, humans who can turn into cats, and her first task is to stop the bullies. Kitty’s immediate family consists of her grandmother and her parents, who own a Japanese imports shop. The artwork, reminiscent of Mary Blair’s, features rosy, cozy images of romping kittens, an apt complement to the self-consciously breathless text.
This saccharine, exclamation-filled story is purr-fect for young cat fans but not many others. (Fantasy. 6-9)