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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.
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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.Review:
In 'Brave Irene,' Streep's mellifluous voice transforms instantly from the even-toned narrator to the infuriating wind that tortures Irene. (AudioFile on The One and Only Shrek)
Who could possibly resist this combination: Book by William Steig; narration by Meryl Streep? No one, I assure you between the ages of 3 and 103. It is sheer delight...Hearing [Streep] segue instantaneously from the voice of a superb narrator to a vicious wind is reason alone to cherish this audio. (All Things Good and More)
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. (Starred, Booklist)
One of Steig's simplest stories [and] one of his best, a tale that has the force of a legend. (Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books)
William Steig's Brave Irene has the timeless quality of a classic fairy tale. (Publishers Weekly)
My children love to hear other people tell stories and having the CD's to go along has been amazing for my budding 5 year old. She has learned to read much more difficult words by following along with this CD. And of course, Meryl has a wonderful voice and is an excellent story teller. (The Suburban Jungle)
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