Brave Irene

by William Steig

Paperback, 1988



Call number




Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (1988), 32 pages


Plucky Irene, a dressmaker's daughter, braves a fierce snowstorm to deliver a new gown to the duchess in time for the ball.

User reviews

LibraryThing member eecnelsen
This story shows that those who persever through really hard things get great rewards in the end. It was a story about a girl whos mom was sick so she took the Duchess a dress through a snow storm for the ball that night.
The illistrations showed a good idea of what was going on in the story
LibraryThing member matthewbloome
It's tough not to see that this was anabsolutely wonderful sory of perseverence and strong-willed determination. I really enjoyed this story. It showed a protaganist with true character in her battle against the elements and her truly noble ideals. Wonderful story.
LibraryThing member kimbrady
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
Show More
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.
Show Less
LibraryThing member TheMightyQuinn
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
Show More
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.
Show Less
LibraryThing member beckystandal
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.
Show More
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.
Show Less
LibraryThing member srssrs
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
Show More
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.
Show Less
LibraryThing member ReadAloudDenver
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
Show More
narrative skills where they tell stories in their own words.
Show Less
LibraryThing member lquilter
Sweet story of a little girl who braves a fierce wind and snowstorm to help out her sick mom, a dressmaker, by delivering a dress to the duchess. Particular highlights included the little girl's caretaking of her mom, and the descriptions of her trudging through the snow despite the efforts of the
Show More
wind -- including the wind literally sweeping the dress away from her. I also liked the drawings, which are not fairy tale glamorous, but funny lumpy.

All the characters were white, and the "kind nobility" thing is not my bag. But this is certainly a good substitute for a lot of fairy tales.
Show Less
LibraryThing member dukefan86
The classic story remains very charming! While I can't imagine a child being allowed to make the dress delivery trip in a snow storm in real life, it works in this story, and the illustrations are so cute! I love the facial expressions of the people throughout the story. Fun read, even after all
Show More
these years!
Show Less
LibraryThing member Whisper1
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
Show More
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 journey, she becomes lost, she is buried in snow, and the box containing the dress is blown out of her hands and into the howling wind.

Ingeniously using the empty box as a sled, it stopped on paving stones in front of the palace. Surprisingly, she found the beautiful dress wrapped around a snowy tree.

Invited to the ball, Irene has a lovely evening and thus is rewarded for her bravery.
Show Less
LibraryThing member cvyork
Book was used as a read-aloud for making predictions, details, and analogies
LibraryThing member Nicole129672
A girl watches her mom make a beautiful dress for the queen. Her mother falls ill, so Irene decides to take the dress to the queen. It is cold outside and the wind howls saying she can not do it. When she overcomes her fear and the wind, she is welcomed by the royals and invited to hang out and
Show More
sleep there. 3-4
Show Less
LibraryThing member parejess
This was one of my favorite stories that I have read. Irene wants to help her mother in any way that she can, even if it means walking for miles in the middle of a snow storm, and that shows real love and devotion. Her trek through that blizzard shows that she never gives up for what she believes
Show More
in, even if it means risking her life. Irene is someone to look up to, an example for all who read this book, because she shows that we must always do the right thing, even if it means making sacrifices, for if we help people out (like her mother), we will in turn get helped out in the end (like the duchess's kindness).
Show Less
LibraryThing member lgrube4
This was a nice book, and the title certainly fits the story. It was about a little girl named Irene who offered to take the dress her mother had made to the duchess even though there was a blizzard outside. The blizzard was very bad and the wind opened up the heavy box she was carrying and took
Show More
the dress out of it. The snow got worse the more Irene struggled. Finally she saw the gleam of the palace ahead, and took the box and sled all the way down to it. On a tree in front of the palace was the dress. Irene stayed in the palace for the night and got special treatment and got to go to the ball. In the morning Irene made it back in a horse and carriage. I liked the illustrations even though they were not very detailed. I wasn't expecting the story to go as it did, so it kept me interested with each page. The language in it was pretty easy and there were paragraphs on every page so it's a good read. I would recommend it.
Show Less
LibraryThing member hatease
Irene faces a snowstorm to deliver a newly finished ball gown. This book helps students realize that they can overcome fear and being brave.

LibraryThing member lpierson14
A girl agrees to face the elements to help her mother and deliver a dress to the queen in time for a ball during the middle of a terrible snow storm. Irene and the wind go head to head in the battle of wills. Despite many setbacks Irene preservers and makes it to the palace in time. The queen is
Show More
thrilled and amazed at the little girl's strength both physical and mental. Irene shows commitment to her mother and to the job at hand. She beat wind and conquers her fears. This would be great book to demonstrate personification. The wind is written with many human characteristics. High interest and good themes.
Show Less
LibraryThing member cwierz2
Brave Irene was one of my favorite children's books when I was growing up. The story is about a young girl who helps her mother in a time of need and endures into a winter blizzard and is determined to deliver her mothers dress to a duchess. Irene proves her bravery and never gives up even through
Show More
the harsh storm, she will find a way to deliver the dress. She experienced many obstacles on her way but she fights through and in the end she safely delivers the dress to the duchess. This story will give children hope and inspiration to cheer on Irene. The writing is clear, organized and so well developed. It feels like you are there with her fighting through the storm. The author will keep you on your toes wondering what will come next. The message in this story is to keeping fighting and moving forward, even when there are obstacles there is a way to get through them.
Show Less
LibraryThing member lbrink2
I like this book for several reasons. One reason I like this book is the language. The author clearly put a lot of thought into his word choice because of the language used to describe many of the actions in the story. Words like explosive, plowed, leaped, and jerked were used which help the reader
Show More
picture what is happening better. Another reason I like this book is the plot. Irene was on a journey to deliver a dress because her mother felt too sick to do it. The journey was not easy due to a snow storm but Irene did not give up. The suspense of Irene's journey will keep the readers interested in the story and dying to know what would happen next. The message of the story was to never give up which is a lesson many children need to be taught. There are times where children will be challenged in school and outside of school, but no matter how hard something is children need to know to keep trying.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jkrnomad
Great for teaching personification!
LibraryThing member csoki637
William Steig's pictures are truly wonderful. They're the sort of books that put "grown-up" books to shame, with their lovely stories and illustrations. With a few exceptions, like "Pete's a Pizza," William Steig's books avoid that trap of picture book that is insipid and irritating. They're clever
Show More
and complex. I used to go to the library in fourth and fifth and sit down with piles of his books.
Show Less
LibraryThing member quondame
Really really stupid Irene. But persistent. I hope the duchess pays her bill.
LibraryThing member villemezbrown
Neither snow, nor snow, nor more snow, nor hella snow shall keep the dressmaker's daughter from delivering a commissioned gown. It's a slow slog for Irene and me both.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

10.38 inches


0374409277 / 9780374409272

Similar in this library

Page: 0.2593 seconds