Lisa Vegan's Reviews > Brave Irene

Brave Irene by William Steig
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Dec 18, 2010

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bookshelves: childrens, fiction, picture-books, reviewed

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 gown and why would (brave but foolhardy?) Irene do this, and why would her mother let her?! I guess it’s because they were poor and absolutely needed the money. At least Irene was well treated at her destination. (Sorry if that’s a spoiler, but this is a picture book for children. Goodreads members, presumably older than the picture book set, might want to know this if they’re planning this one to read to their children.)

And I loved the illustrations of what the wind was doing but the wind being call wicked? That was sort of peculiar too. And there was one very scary & depressing part that might be too much for young kids.

I guess I don’t get it, that I’m nearly alone here, as I checked the ratings breakdown for this book and the Goodreads’ readers say: 43% gave it 5 stars, 31% gave it 4 stars, only another 20% gave it 3 stars, and only 4% gave it 2 stars, and not enough readers gave it 1 star to say it’s above 0%. Maybe it’s my mood. I generally rate high. But I did like parts of it, quite a bit. But I personally wouldn’t make a point of recommending this book to anyone.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Lisa Vegan Abigail wrote: "Another reviewer who just doesn't understand what a privilege it is to make clothing for the wealthy... ;)"

Ha! :-D


Hayley Swanson I agree. I understood while reading it that it's supposed to be an inspirational story of perseverance against all odds, but really, Irene would have died along the way. Her journey was inherently foolish.


Lisa Vegan Thanks, Hayley. I read this over 4-1/2 years ago and I admit I don't really remember this book. It wasn't one of the many that stick with me.


Hayley Swanson Lol whoops, I read dates X)


Lisa Vegan Well for most books time elapsing wouldn't be a problem. This book just flew out of my mind.


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