Brave Irene

Brave Irene

by William Steig

Hardcover(Library Binding)

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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 a will, there's a way, as Irene proves in the danger-fraught adventure that follows. She must defy the wiles of the wicked wind, her most formidable opponent, and overcome many obstacles before she completes her mission. Surely, this winning heroine will inspire every child to cheer her on.

Brave Irene is a 1986 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781613832479
Publisher: Perfection Learning Corporation
Publication date: 10/28/2011
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

About the Author

William Steig (1907-2003) was a cartoonist, illustrator and author of award-winning books for children, including Shrek!, on which the DreamWorks movies are based. Steig was born in New York City. Every member of his family was involved in the arts, and so it was no surprise when he decided to become an artist. He attended City College and the National Academy of Design. In 1930, Steig's work began appearing in The New Yorker, where his drawings have been a popular fixture ever since. He published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968.

In 1970, Steig received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. His books for children also include Dominic; The Real Thief; The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book; Amos & Boris, a National Book Award finalist; and Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books. Steig's books have also received the Christopher Award, the Irma Simonton Black Award, the William Allen White Children's Book Award, and the American Book Award. His European awards include the Premio di Letteratura per l'infanzia (Italy), the Silver Pencil Award (the Netherlands), and the Prix de la Fondation de France. On the basis of his entire body of work, Steig was selected as the 1982 U.S. candidate for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Illustration and subsequently as the 1988 U.S. candidate for Writing.

Stieg also published thirteen collections of drawings for adults, beginning with About People in 1939, and including The Lonely Ones, Male/Female, The Agony in the Kindergarten, and Our Miserable Life.

He died in Boston at the age of 95.

Reading Group Guide

Weather Journal

Irene braves the elements on a stormy winter night. Have students create a list of the different types of weather that occur during each season. Then design a class weather journal and have students take turns recording the daily weather and its impact on the students' activities (e.g., "Today it is sleeting. It is too wet, cold, and slippery for us to play outside at recess").

Sew what?

Irene's mother is a talented dressmaker. Give students their own opportunity to "sew" clothing by providing them with two pieces of felt, a large plastic needle, yarn, and a hole-puncher. With a felt-tip pen, students should outline the design of the garment on a single piece of felt. Then they should align the two pieces of felt, cut out the garment, punch holes around the perimeter, and use yarn to sew the garment together. They can then decorate it by gluing on ribbon, buttons, small fabric scraps, or sequins. (Note: A glue gun is most effective, but its use requires adult supervision.) A variation of this activity is to create stuffed animals from two pieces of felt, filling the middle with cotton.

I Did It!

Ask students to recall an experience during which they were confronted with overwhelming circumstances but, like Irene, managed to persevere. What motivated them? How did they feel during the incident? How did they feel after it had ended? Discuss the traits that helped Irene succeed, including bravery, persistence, resourcefulness, and commitment. Students can then create badges or "medals of courage" for their classmates.

Pet Names

Irene's mother has endearing pet names for her — "dumpling," "cupcake," and "pudding." Have students write about what pet names are used in their family, and by whom. Provide an opportunity for sharing, as students will enjoy learning about their classmates' family terms of endearment.

Customer Reviews

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Brave Irene (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
kimbrady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this picture book, Irene braves a winter storm to deliver a gown hand-sewn by her mother to the duchess. Themes include determination and sacrifice for family. Steig's words and illustrations capture Irene's varying emotions extremely well. Steig manages to make numerous illustrations of a girl walking in the snow all expressive, interesting, and unique. This book would be a great addition to a school or public library children's collection.
srssrs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Brave Irene is a cute story of a little girl full of tenacity that is not going to let a little snow storm get in the way of delivering a dress to a duchess. What is interesting about this book is that the vocabulary doesn't always seem to match the grade level, which I'd put at 2nd grade. This might look like a typical children's story, but on careful review, there are some words that don't seem to fit the level of this book; delirious and hastening just don't seem to fit the level this story would be most appropriate for. An enjoyable story, despite it small flaws.
TheMightyQuinn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Irene's mother has just finished a beautiful dress for a lady, but she is too sick to deliver it, so Irene braves a terrible snowstorm to make the delivery. Classic Steig illustrations done in pen and color. Several text-less double page spreads to follow Irene's expedition. The story could have been developed a little more, but it had a good message for pushing onward against adversity. A good read for all ages and well placed in any picture book collection.
ReadAloudDenver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A young girl perseveres through a snowstorm to deliver the duchess' ball gown that was sown by her sick mother. Despite howling winds, blizzard conditions and a twisted ankle, Irene makes good on her promise to her mother to make the delivery. The illustrations and story will help children develop narrative skills where they tell stories in their own words.
cvyork on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book was used as a read-aloud for making predictions, details, and analogies
beckystandal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Viewed the video version by Scholastic.Ages 4 and Up; Irene's mom has made a beautiful dress for the duchess, but then she's too sick to deliver it. Here comes Irene to the rescue! Irene offers to the deliver the dress to the duchess, even though there's a terrible storm she shouldn't go out in. After almost dying and losing the dress, Irene makes it to the humble home of the grateful duchess and is allowed to dance all night long with handsome royal men. The illustrations are typical of the author, but the story leaves much to be desired. Is Irene really brave to go out in the storm? To leave her sick mother? How could her mother, no matter how sick she is, let Irene wander around in a blizzard? To top it off, this story doesn't even have the excitement you might expect of a brave journey. The video version was pretty repetitive and I don't think it would interest today's children. Not recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like this book because it teaches children is be brave, helpful to others, and responsible to others.