Jan Fearnley, . . HarperCollins, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-054650-2

From the opening scene Billy Tibbles, a feisty feline, immediately wins readers' affection. Lounging on his bed, the winsomely watercolored tabby steers a remote control car through his disaster of a bedroom, littered with a lava lamp, bongo drums, a paw-shaped baseball mitt and toy mouse soldiers, among other tempting detritus. "Billy liked mess," the text explains. "And best of all, Billy had it all to himself." So when informed that his little brother Eric will be moving in, Billy moves out—to the bathroom ("but the bathtub was hard and uncomfortable") and then to the shed ("but it was scary and smelled like old boots"). In a kid-pleasing plot twist, Billy and his two siblings discover the fun of togetherness (and naughtiness), and Billy's dad gets his own lesson in sharing. Fearnley's (A Perfect Day for It ) comic insights skewer both feline and human personality traits. Billy's glamourpuss Siamese mother smartly attired in a polka dot scarf and blue eye shadow) is a stylish, ultra-feminine counterpoint to his dad, a scraggly, rough-around-the-edges tabby. Fearnley shows Twinkle, Billy's Siamese-looking sister, watching her little brother's meltdown with all the gleeful voyeurism of a human sibling. Between giggles, youngsters should easily recognize themselves—and their pets—in this lively family. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)