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Brave Irene Paperback


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Brave Irene + Doctor De Soto + Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
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Learn more about classic children's book writer and illustrator William Steig (PDF), whose books are now available in Kindle book editions.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312564228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312564223
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When her mother, a dressmaker, falls ill, indomitable Irene fights a raging snowstorm to deliver a dress in time for the duchess's ball. A Michael di Capua Book. Ages 3-up.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4 Fans will enjoy this typical Steig myth, although it lacks the surprise and logic of his best stories. It isn't a fit night out for man nor beast when Irene pluckily forges on through wind and snow to deliver the ball gown that her ill mother has stitched for the duchess. The dramatic pictures of brave Irene's painful journey will engage children's sympathy, but children will also wonder why the dressmaker's child didn't stay home with her sick mother, however grateful the duchess was. The magic just isn't here. Anna Biagioni Hart, Sherwood Regional Library, Alexandria, Va.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

William Steig (1907-2003) published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968, and received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (978-1416902065) in 1970. His works also include The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book, and Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books. His most recent books published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux are Shrek! (released by DreamWorks as a major motion picture) and Wizzil, illustrated by Quentin Blake. School Library Journal named Shrek! a Best Book of 1990 and said of it, "Steig's inimitable wit and artistic dash have never been sharper or more expertly blended."

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 38 customer reviews
Enter Brave Irene!
Mary Cunningham
This book came as part of a book club order for my daughter (maybe 15 years ago)... She ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!
Denise Jones
I would highly recommend picking this one up if you have small children.
Amanda Welling

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Barbara on March 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
At age three I started reading Brave Irene to my daughter. She is now nine years old and it remains her all time favorite book. Back then we would read it at least tree times a week or more. Still, Now every once in awhile, Annie comes to me and says " can we read Brave Irene together". The story is about a young girl Irene who seems to be maybe nine or ten years old. Her mother is a dressmaker and has made a gown for the dutches for her ball.Unfortunatley her mother isn't feeling to well and can't get the gown to dutches in time for the ball.Irene being a very responsible, carring, and BRAVE child,Wants to help her mom. So she takes the gown to the dutches. She has some problems along the way, But because of her love for her mother, she is determined to get the job done. I feel that there are many lessons this book can teach a child. The main one being,CARRING. Our first copy of this book is so worn out, I recently bought a new one..
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By abigail kylie & julian on February 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
I really enjoy reading Brave Irene to my little girl for several reasons. The language used by Stein is beautiful - it's such a marvellous book for introducing new and unusual words for pre-school children. It also provides such inventive descriptions - also great for showing how you can apply your imagination to words! I completely disagree with those who think it puts children in a position of danger. Rot! It's a fairytale - not a story of reality. And fairytales allow children to enter worlds they would never have the opportunity to do so in real life and allow them to be brave and go on amazing adventures - this is precisely what Brave Irene does and it does it so well. Irene is so plucky and so independent and solves problems so well! And she's a girl! So nice to have a "girl" hero like this! And most of all - my three year old loves Brave Irene - she gasps in the right places and cheers her on and marvels at her determination. Brave Irene has opened yet another vista of opportunity for my little girl's imagination and love of books. Well done William Steig!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By izzyfree on December 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I love "Brave Irene"! I read it during first grade and it's still one of my favorite stories.
Mrs. Bobbin, Irene's mother is a dressmaker. She just finished making this beautiful dress and she has to get it to the duchess, the person who ordered the dress, because the duchess was having a party. But Mrs. Bobbin is feeling sick, she has a headache and her head is hot. So Irene volunteered to get the dress over to the duchess's house, Mrs. Bobbin protested because it was snowing a lot outside. Irene sets out to deliver the dress to the duchess. She battles with the wind and snow, while carrying the big box, holding the gown but would she be able to get the dress over to the duchess's house?
The reason I love this book is because of the dedication and love Irene shows for her mom. Irene would do anything for her mom and I find that really sweet of Irene. I recommend this to everyone and I hope they enjoy it, even if it IS a children's picture book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Shari Zychinski on October 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
my son's second grade teacher read this to the class when they were comparing "pesky" words vs. "flashy" words and this book is full of GREAT words that second graders need to hear. sure she's a child in a messy situation but that's the deal in fairy tales. it's up to irene to get out of trouble on her own but she does it, in a mighty plucky fashion too!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Denise Jones on May 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book came as part of a book club order for my daughter (maybe 15 years ago)... She ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!! It was always on the bedtime story request list. She thoroughly enjoyed my reading of it, the journey of Brave Irene, and the completing of her task... To help her mother! She even related the "wicked wind" to our winter storms! Today, she is 23 and still very fondly remembers this book and wants to get it for HER daughter. I am ordering it today! Hopefully, they will enjoy it as much as we did.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brenda J. Marshall on February 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Breve Irene is a wonderful book to share with young children. It is the story of a little girl who is determined and courageous. She must deliver a gown to a duchess for her mother who is sick and can not do it herself. Irene braves the bitter weather of a snow storm to get the job done against all odds. I love this book for two reasons. It reminded me of my daughter Irene who braved one of the worst snow storms to get me at the hospital and for the wonderful reaction and discussion I had with my students after reading it to them the first day back to school after a snow storm. I recommend it to parents and teachers to share it with young children ages 5 to 8 yrs. and strike up a good dicussion with your children.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1996
Format: Hardcover
Brave Irene volunteers to carry out an important mission for
her ailing mother, and succeeds beyond her wildest dreams.
A believable, subtle story for first-grade or older girls
and boys, with beautiful watercolor illustrations.
Slightly scary, slight silly, all good.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. Costello VINE VOICE on August 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
William Steig is not afraid to use the English language in a children's book. His vocabulary is wonderfully complicated, and reading these books to children familiarizes them with complex plot and sentence structures. Terrific fun and learning at the same time.

There is a kind of anxiety about class in many of Steig's books. Here the fact that Irene is in service to a Duchess is offset by the fact that it is to her mother that Irene is faithful and by the fact that it is her mother who knows "better than the Duchess" how good and brave Irene is.

There are a few sentences that should make the hall of fame of good English writing in each Steig book we have read. Here, the sentences that describe the dress flying away with tissue paper attendants is particularly noteworthy. Remember--this is children's literature. Literature. Not a marketing attempt.
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