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Brave Irene

Last updated Sunday, May 16, 2021

Author: William Steig
Illustrator: William Steig
Date of Publication: 1986
ISBN: 0374309477
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2004

Synopsis: 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.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What does it mean to be brave? Examples? Have you ever been brave?
•  Ever heard the phrase "when the going gets tough, the tough get going?" What does that mean?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Was Irene brave? Why? Was she scared, too? Can you be scared and brave at the same time?
•  What would you have done if you were in her shoes?
•  Have you ever felt like she did? When?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a box with folded paper (cut out paper in cross form, with bottom part of cross being twice as long as the top, and then folding and taping into box form - color first, then create the box). On each front, write adjectives such as "brave name," "silly name," smart, scared, etc. , and draw in pictures that correspond.
•  Make a crown for the person sitting to your right, and decorate.

Special activities:
•  Use the box which was made as a craft. Have each child roll their die, and then talk about a time that they felt that way.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!