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Brave Irene

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,533 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
Brave Irene is Irene Bobbin, the dressmaker's daughter. Her mother, Mrs. Bobbin, isn't feeling so well and can't possibly deliver the beautiful ball gown she's made for the duchess to wear that very evening. So plucky Irene volunteers to get the gown to the palace on time, in spite of the fierce snowstorm that's brewing-- quite an errand for a little girl.

But where there's
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Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Square Fish (first published 1986)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Eddie Watkins
Almost experimental in its adherence to tedium, as a good 2/3rds of the book is dedicated to Irene's monotonous trek through a snowy forest to deliver her sick mom's handmade gown to the duchess in time for the ball; no supernatural intrusions, no animals, no mythic nomadic hunters, nothing, just Irene sruggling against the elements page after page; the sun goes down and the snow goes from white to grey (my daughter points at the greyly depicted nocturnal snow and calls it mud), the gown is blow ...more
Roya
Aug 24, 2016 Roya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite
One of my favourite books as a kid was Brave Irene. The story is about a girl who has to deliver a dress to the duchess in the midst of a snowstorm. It's a lovely representation of a daughter's love for her mother. The first few pages always get to me even though the story isn't sad. It's one of the few books that still has me feeling the same way I did when it was first read to me.

Lisa Vegan
Well, hmm, this book is sort of weird. I saw it on a shelf at the library and I liked the cover illustration and so I gave it a try.

I did like the pictures. My favorite is of Irene by the fire eating and the two dogs looking at her, and most of the outdoor scenes, but all of the illustrations were ones I’d have loved as a kid, including all the details of Irene’s and her mother’s house and the palace interior and people also.

But why the heck doesn’t the duchess send her people to come get the go
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Dorothy Carder
Jan 29, 2014 Dorothy Carder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I felt this was a great tale in the fictional genre of picture books, probably geared towards upper elementary school children. It reminded me of how I like to take care of my own mom, and so as a daughter I could relate to the book and felt I may have even read it while I was growing up in school since the copyright year is 1986. I am thinking it also may be more geared towards girls considering that context as well. I felt the author depicted Irene as a very responsible and mature little girl. ...more
Sheelie Kittee
Aug 19, 2016 Sheelie Kittee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favourite books when i was younger. I read and re-read it a hundred million times. To this day I can still remember feeling Irene's anguish through the snow, and that beautiful Duchess's dress!

Thanks Marianne for the support with kids books detox. everyone should read and re-read kids books. I'm seriously thinking they are the best...
Davin Thompson-williams
Irene gets 5 stars! She took care of her sick mother, braved the storm, fought the wind and delivered the package. She was amazing and that's why she was successful!
Karen
Jul 24, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ellie, mom
Such a wonderful story of perseverance. We have read this book many times. Part of the building character books from Beautiful Feet.
Lizzie
Feb 11, 2015 Lizzie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-girls, winter
Irene vs nature. Spoiler: Irene wins!
Caitlin Lawler
Brave Irene by William Steig is the adventurous and determined story of a young girl named Irene the daughter of a seamstress who had just finished a gown for the duchess. Irene’s mother is feeling too ill to take the dress to the duchess in the snow. Irene convinces her mother to let her take the dress because the duchess cannot be without it. When Irene leaves it is extremely cold and windy. As she struggles in the snow and wind which whispers to her to go home, Irene loses the dress in the wi ...more
Macy
Irene is a young girl who is the daughter of Mrs. Bobbins, a dress maker. Mrs. Bobbins is making a beautiful dress for the duchess to wear that night when she starts to feel sick and decides she is not well enough to deliver the dress that night. Irene speaks up and says that she can deliver the dress to the duchess for her. Her mother cautions her of the cold weather. Irene sets off on her journey and is tossed and thrown about by the wind and heavy snowstorm. Just as Irene thinks the weather ...more
Justin Ferrell
May 07, 2014 Justin Ferrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Realistic Fiction, 1986

Irena's mother is a seamstress that has made a special dress for the duchess, but is too sick to deliver it. This means that Irena has to venture out into the snowstorm to take it to her. After fighting through the storm, she is able to deliver the dress in time for the ball. Brave Irene is a great book to read aloud as an example of writing with descriptive words and using personification. A majority of the story takes place out in the snow storm and the author does a gre
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June
Dec 20, 2012 June rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: winter and strong female requests
Read this to a second grade class and it went over well. It is a story I really enjoy, but a bit long for story times so this worked out well. I used to show it when we had preschool movies and it was quite popular.
Kandra
May 06, 2013 Kandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We love this wintertime tale of a little girl braving the elements to help her Mama. William Steig has a knack for tapping into something strange and adventurous as kids interact with the adult world.
Sarah
I like this story because it features an ordinary girl who rises to the occasion and does what needs to be done. It was one of our Summer Reading titles, though it is not very summery.
Hailey White
While I'm not particularly fond of Steig's illustrations, the story is very special. What a beautiful example of perseverance, determination, and thoughtfulness.
Eden
Irene's mother is a dressmaker and she made a beautiful gown for the Duchess to wear that evening. But she isn't feeling well and knows she won't be able to deliver it. Irene insists that she deliver it for her mother.

The snow is falling heavy and very cold, but Irene braves it all to take her mother's dress to the Duchess.

From the author of Shrek comes another wonderful story about a young girl who braves a winter storm to deliver a dress for her mother. I liked this book and I liked Irene. Lik
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J. Gurantz
Story writing as far as language and feel- thumbs up.
Loved that the kid hero is a girl. And she's tough, brave, etc. She's paying the bills, helping her mom do it.
A little (a pinch, not a even a teaspoon) conflicted when it comes to girls who are self-sacrificing and not to mention gets a huge reward in the end. Wouldn't have minded if there were no big praise and no dancing at the ball and instead a simple thank you. And the greatest consolation was helping her mom finish the job (put money on
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John Cruz
Sep 23, 2015 John Cruz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about Irene Bobbin who is the young daughter of a dressmaker. Irene's mother gets sick but needs to deliver a dress to the duchess. So "Brave" Irene steps up to the plate and offers to take the delivery even though there is a strong snow storm outside. Irene fights the wind as well as the dress box in order to deliver it on time to the duchess, in the palace. The illustrations in this book are not as great as the written content in my opinion. They appropriately convey what I think ...more
Elayna Gilbert
Apr 30, 2014 Elayna Gilbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brave Irene is Irene Bobbin, the dressmaker's daughter. Her mother, Mrs. Bobbin, isn't feeling so well and can't possibly deliver the beautiful ball gown she's made for the duchess to wear that very evening. So plucky Irene volunteers to get the gown to the palace on time, in spite of the fierce snowstorm that's brewing, quite an errand for a little girl. The pictures are into great detail and i like the light colors it uses. It would be a great lesson in my classroom about bravery to the childr ...more
Shannon
Mar 22, 2016 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book, winter
Learned about this one from "Books That Build Character."
When Irene sees that her mother is too sick to deliver the dress she has made for the duchess, she volunteers to go to the palace herself. But when she ventures into the howling wind, Irene realizes that this may not be such an easy task after all. And when the dress is torn from her grasp by the wind and she flounders in a deep snowdrift, Irene is tempted to give up. The only thing that keeps her going is the thought of her mother's and
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Josiah
Apr 26, 2010 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here is a true classic, a book that I'm sure has been weaved into the fabric of countless childhoods all across the United States and all over the world, too. Brave Irene was read to me more than once during my first few grades in school, and I remember the exciting storyline in vivid detail, with unflappable, determined Irene setting off to deliver her mother's package to the duchess in time for her party.

Irene Bobbin is the kind of girl that one can't help but cheer on to success. Despite th
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Mary
Nov 22, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brave Irene

"An extroadinarily eloquent story about love and courage" - The New Yorker

The Duchess eagerly awaits the delivery of her ball gown by Irene's mother, Mrs. Bobbin, but the seamstress is sick in bed and can't possibly deliver the gown in time.

Enter Brave Irene! Through a ferocious snowstorm and deliberately treacherous winds, Irene sets out to save the day for her dear mother (who smelled like fresh-baked bread to Irene).

Most would turn back, too afraid to face such a frightening journ
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Melanie
Irene's mother, the dressmaker, finally finishes the dress for the Duchess, but she doesn't have the energy to get it to her in time for the ball that night. Irene promises her mother she can. She helps her mother to bed, wraps the dress up carefully and braves the winter storm to make the journey to get the dress to the Duchess for the ball that night.

Irene battles wind and snow piled higher than her ankles. But trudge on she does. But suddenly, a strong gust of wind whips the box out of her ha
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Ronyell
“Brave Irene” is a beautiful book from the brilliant mind of William Steig and is about how a young girl named Irene decides to take the duchess’ newly made gown through a ferocious snowstorm after her mother becomes extremely ill. “Brave Irene” is surely a classic story about the true meaning of courage that will entice children to definitely read this book.

William Steig has done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing the story. William Steig’s writing is full of drama and adventure
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Katie
Brave Irene by William Steig is one of determination. A young girl offers to take a dress her ill mother made to the duchess through a winter storm. Even through the struggles and challenges she faces against the elements of the storm (the wind, day turning to night) she never gives up. It is a heartwarming story of courage that many can relate to when it comes to overcoming adversity. Steig did a wonderful job illustrating the text. Most of the story takes us through her wintery adventure, show ...more
Jana
I shared this with my 5th graders yesterday, and they really enjoyed it. Of course, only half of them were at school since it was a really cold and snowy day. By the time we read about Irene's struggles trying to deliver a ball gown to the duchess in a wild snow storm, we all felt a little more like "Brave Irene" for making it in to school. This is a great book to read during these nasty, cold, winter days!
Linda Lipko
Brave Irene by William Steig, written in 1986, highly recommended by Nancy Pearl in Book Crush: For Kids and Teens - recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Interest, this is a story of Irene whose seamstress mother is very ill and cannot deliver a dress to the duchess for an evening ball.

Irene carefully boxes the dress and bundles for the approaching winter storm. As the wind forces her backward and the snow pelts her face, Irene is bent on accomplishing the mission.

Throughout her journe
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Eugene
Poor little girl risking her life so duchess can wear yet another dress to another meaningless event, that book proved one more time that this world belongs to a few. Terrible message that the life of the poor and destitute worth all but a fleeting moment to a wealthy. Keep your stupid fruit basket and a cake to yourself duchess.
Claire Rozint
Sep 17, 2014 Claire Rozint rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book describes the struggle a young girl goes through to get a dress to a duchess. This little girl goes out on a horrible winters day to deliver a dress to the duchess. She comes across many obstacles on her way there including hurting herself. This little girl is a courageous and strong girl.
Kara
Brave Irene tells the tale of a young girl who braves a winter storm to deliver a dress to a royal member for her sick mother. This book would be great to use to discuss bravery and things they have or people they know who have done something brave out of the kindness of their hearts for others.
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William Steig was born in New York City in 1907. In a family where every member was involved in the arts, it was not surprising that Steig became an artist.

He published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968, embarking on a new and very different career.

Steig's books reflect his conviction that children want the security of a devoted family and friends. When Sylvester, Farmer
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