Cover image for Stella's dancing days
Stella's dancing days
Asher, Sandy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt, 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume : color illustrations ; 28 cm
A charming kitten named Stella dances for the family who owns her, but as Stella grows up, she dances less and less, and everyone misses her dancing days--until she has six kittens of her own who all love to dance.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.0 0.5 46608.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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A tender family story that will dance into your heart.
Stella is a kitten who loves to dance. But as she grows up, Stella dances less and less. Has she lost her passion for pirouettes and pliés? Or is she just busy with other things, like stalking bugs, soaking up the sunshine--and finding a quiet place to have her kittens?
With warmth and charm that recalls the best-loved classics of children's literature, Stella's story of growing up is perfect for families to share.

Author Notes

SANDY ASHER has written many plays and novels. Stella's Dancing Days is her first picture book for Harcourt. Ms. Asher is writer-in-residence at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, where she lives with her husband.

KATHRYN BROWN is the illustrator of many books for children, including Tough Boris by Mem Fox. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-6. Stella the kitten comes to live with a family consisting of the Tall One (older brother), the Gentle One (sister), the Littlest One with the Loudest Voice (baby brother), the Fuzzy One with Floppy Ears (dog), and assorted, unnamed grown-ups. From a bouncy, dancing kitten, Stella grows into a cat who likes to stalk bugs, sit upon windowsills, and sing night songs with the neighbor cats. In time, she becomes a mother to six kittens, who all love to dance. The cat's-eye view reflected in the family members' names is just one example of the light, precise language in this well-crafted picture book. Brown, the illustrator of Mem Fox's Tough Boris (1994), captures the winsome spirit of the text in a series of expressive ink drawings brightened with watercolor washes. Though the artwork has a certain delicacy, it also has underlying strength. On page after page, individual scenes come to life through well-observed detail, from the grin of a preschooler happily carrying Stella to the patient expression of the cat as she allows herself to be clumsily carried. A quiet picture book, but a real crowd pleaser for the story-hour set. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

As a kitten, Stella revels in performing grands jet‚s, 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 soup‡on 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-A small gray kitten who loves to dance goes to live with three children, known here as the Tall One (the oldest brother), the Gentle One (the middle sister), and the Littlest One with the Loudest Voice (the baby brother). Stella charms the entire family (including the Fuzzy One with Floppy Ears who barked in her face) with her grands jet?s, pirouettes, tumbles, flips, and arabesques. As she matures, she notices the world around her and has less time for dancing. While the children miss her dancing days, Stella does not, for she is busy preparing for her own litter: "three girls and three boys. And they all loved to dance." Asher's quiet text has a natural, graceful rhythm, and Brown's watercolor illustrations capture the homey timelessness of afternoons spent drinking lemonade under ancient oaks and of long summer nights that are full of promise and mystery. The artist carefully depicts the gradual growth of Stella and the children, coming full circle on the final page, a joyous illustration of the feline's dancing offspring. With its quiet poetic quality and soft, appealing illustrations, this title will please cat lovers and ballerinas of all ages and is ideal for sharing with small groups.- Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.