Brave Irene

[bowker-title isbn=”9780312564223″ summary=”

Brave Irene written and illustrated by William Steig is equally enjoyable to read as it is to look at. I think that is the formula for a children’s book to become a classic. Another way for a children’s book to become a classic is for it to appeal to both children and adults. On that account Brave Irene delivers as well. My children and I love reading and looking at Brave Irene and I can not recommend enough. Brave Irene is the story of a dressmaker’s daughter named Irene Bobbin. Irene Bobbin’s mother isn’t feeling well one day and is unable to deliver a ball gown she has made for a duchess, and the ball is that evening! Never fear though, because it is Irene the Brave to the rescue. Irene volunteers to bring the gown to the castle herself even though there is a major snowstorm bearing down on Irene’s area. Irene is able to conjure all the bravery necessary and heads off for the unknown dangers on her journey. There are many obstacles to overcome along her journey, especially for a little girl. Children’s and adults will be glued to the pages as they follow Brave Irene to its happy ending. The illustrations of Brave Irene are soft but powerful in their color and depiction. This story works well for both at home reading and in the classroom for preschool children as well as pre-kindergarten. I recommend Brave Irene to all, especially on a cold and wintery afternoon or night.

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  • “Despite a raging snowstorm, Irene, a dressmaker’s daughter, offers to deliver the duchess’s newly finished ball gown. . . . With sure writing and well-composed, riveting art, Steig keeps readers with Irene every step of the long way.”— Booklist
  • “One of Steig’s simplest stories [and] one of his best, a tale that has the force of a legend.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
  • “William Steig’s Brave Irene has the timeless quality of a classic fairy tale.”
  • — Publishers Weekly


  • Steig, William. The Amazing Bone. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1976.
  • Steig, William. Doctor De Soto. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1982.
  • Yolen, Jane. Owl Moon. Philomel Books, 1987.