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The red lettering and bow are shiny and metallic in the print version.

A few weeks ago, I told you the story of my Hello Kitty ice pack. Shout out to my friend Ashley who found a couple on Ebay—but they were like fifty bucks. That’s a lot to ask for an ice pack, so I looked around for some Hello Kitty comic books.

That’s how I ended up with an excellent used copy of Kitty’s fortieth anniversary collection, Hello 40: A Celebration in 40 Stories. Thanks to this blog’s readers, I had just received an Amazon gift certificate that covered the cost, and Hello Kitty has joined the Big Box of Comics.

The hardback edition is gorgeous, from the metallic red lettering on the cover to the overall design and the non-stop cuteness of the short comics that showcase a wide variety of art styles, from watercolor painting to paper cut-outs. While many of the vignettes revolve around Kitty having a birthday party or eating cake with friends and family, she also crash-lands a spaceship and explores another planet, meets a dragon who roasts marshmallows with his flame, goes on a couple of wild roller coaster rides, uses a time machine, stars in a movie, and has fantastic dreams after eating too many cookies before bedtime. Fans of San Rio characters will recognize a few of her friends such as the penguin (Badtz-Maru) and frog (Kerropi).

Sure, some scary or sad stuff happens, but Kitty’s tales always end happily, and no one is ever hurt. When Space Kitty makes an alien monster cry by taking away his shiny new toy—a fallen satellite she and a friend are sent to retrieve—Kitty cheers him up with a giant cupcake, and everyone is happy. Kitty has a knack for winning over her fearsome foes through acts of kindness and irrepressible good humor.

The stories are almost entirely wordless except for text-based sound effects, earning Kitty a place in our wordless comics collection, too. When the characters speak, their words are simple pictures, a kind of emoji-based dialogue.

By now, you know most of my favorite tales involve hyper-violent dinosaur battles, doomed criminals, and ridiculously grim super-hero deconstructions. Hello 40 might seem like an odd addition to my library but, hey, I like some cute stuff too! Whether you’re looking for a kid-friendly book or you want to indulge your own inner child, Hello 40 is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Collector’s Guide: Hello 40 is available on Amazon in hardcover and a Kindle edition.