Sandy Asher, STELLA'S DANCING DAYSSand. , $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-201613-5

As a kitten, Stella revels in performing grands jetés, pirouettes and arabesques for her family, which includes Tall One (a boy who favors cowboy hats), Gentle One (his younger sister), Littlest One (their baby brother) and Fuzzy One with Floppy Ears (the family dog). "When the Littlest One with the Loudest Voice would not stop crying," writes Asher (But That's Another Story), adopting the kitten's point of view, "Stella and her tinkly ball waltzed from room to room until, at last, the Littlest One laughed." But as Stella grows up, other pursuits take precedence: "She discovered bugs in the garden that needed stalking, patches of sunlight just her size, and windowsills where she could sit and watch the world go by." More time passes, and Stella gives birth to her own litter of "three girls and three boys. And they all loved to dance." Brown's (Tough Boris) delicate watercolors and pen-and-inks incorporate a soupçon of visual humor to keep the pictures from being too precious: when Stella hides under the bed to give birth, Littlest One hangs upside down over the edge to watch. Although the text grants Stella some human qualities, Brown's artwork keeps the heroine's behavior strictly feline, and the volume benefits from the artist's choice. Her illustrations possess a timeless quality, with tea parties under a glorious tree, a grandfather clock and a clapboard house with a wide veranda. A charmer. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)