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Brave Irene

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  2,779 Ratings  ·  177 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 ther
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 1st 1988 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published 1986)
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Aug 24, 2016 Roya rated it it was amazing
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.

Eddie Watkins
Jan 21, 2011 Eddie Watkins rated it liked it
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
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
Dorothy Carder
Jan 29, 2014 Dorothy Carder rated it it was amazing
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
I'm currently experiencing a wonderful opportunity of having free access to some of the best picture books ever written.

This one is called 'Brave Irene', a little girl who truly loves her mother. This is pretty much a fairy tale. It has such good vocabulary words as well as such a nice lesson. Putting other people first and doing your best is always the best thing to do. It has a very happy ending, too.
Jan 31, 2013 Kandra rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 24, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom
Such a wonderful story of perseverance. We have read this book many times. Part of the building character books from Beautiful Feet....krb 7/24/15

Jacob read for his November Pizza Hut reading challenge. He rated this 2 stars..krb 11/1/16
Dec 19, 2012 June rated it really liked it
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.
Davin Thompson-williams
Jan 15, 2015 Davin Thompson-williams rated it it was amazing
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!
Feb 11, 2015 Lizzie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-girls, winter
Irene vs nature. Spoiler: Irene wins!
Hailey White
Jul 07, 2015 Hailey White rated it really liked it
While I'm not particularly fond of Steig's illustrations, the story is very special. What a beautiful example of perseverance, determination, and thoughtfulness.
Jan 09, 2017 Christabelle rated it really liked it
This book was fun and engaging as well. My children love stories where the hero overcomes the odds and moves into a happy ending. Sometimes challenges are just there for you to climb over them.
Aug 03, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 06, 2016 Holly rated it liked it
This book was a story about a brave girl who travel in the snow to deliver a dress. I love her perseverance in the story and the artwork is really well done. I would read this book in maybe a 3rd-4th grade classroom. William Steig does a great job with the story line and the pictures.
Brittany Mangum
This is a book that can teach kids that no matter the struggles that they approach, they can accomplish anything.
An OK story about a little girl who bravely completes a task despite repeated hardships. It might be encouraging to middle grade children when teaching about determination and keeping one's word.
Sep 16, 2014 Macy added it
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
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
Nov 22, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 24, 2010 Josiah rated it it was ok
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
Feb 24, 2010 Ronyell rated it it was amazing
“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
Leonor Jimenez-ethier
Feb 18, 2017 Leonor Jimenez-ethier rated it it was amazing
Great book for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. Irene's journey teaches the kids about what to be brave means.
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
Jan 16, 2016 Shannon rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 27, 2011 Katie added it
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
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
Justin Ferrell
May 07, 2014 Justin Ferrell rated it really liked it
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
Michelle Biamonte
Oct 09, 2016 Michelle Biamonte rated it it was amazing
Irene Bobbin is a dress maker's daughter, who is full of determination. Irene sees her mother, Mrs. Bobbin, has fallen ill. Irene recognizes that her mother needs rest to feel better. Young Irene wants to help her mother and decides she will deliver her mother's beautiful ball gown creation to the duchess. Irene faces deadline time obstacles and fierce weather, but she bravely carries the huge box through a horrible windy snow storm. Little Irene conquers the bad weather and the storm over the ...more
Lenore Webb
Nov 28, 2011 Lenore Webb rated it really liked it
I needed a break one evening so College Girl took over bedtime duties. She also was trying to keep up with her school work too. If you have kiddos you know that reading a book is not always a quick read and tuck into bed. So College Girl pulled out "Brave Irene" which is both a book and story read on CD. I loved listening from my room as Meryl Steep told the story of Irene Bobbin delivering the duchesses ball gown to her through a horrid snow storm to help her mom the dressmaker. There was adven ...more
Riona Daly
May 04, 2013 Riona Daly rated it it was ok
The title of this book is misleading for young children. Although Irene shows bravery, I feel the book does not state the depth of the danger Irene endures and poor decision making by her mother. Allowing a child to walk to deliver a gown when it is clear a storm is brewing is in no way a wise decision.

I feel Irene's bravery is shown to make her way through the storm, in particular when she falls underneath.

However, I did not like this book as the young child should not have been allowed leave h
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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
More about William Steig...

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