By Peter Lewis,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
No obstacle can keep brave Irene from her mission.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is an adventure story of high heroics and simple charms, written in a fluent hand and set to impressionistic, emotive watercolors. The pacing keeps listeners rapt.
Where to Read
Based on 1 parent review
Report this review
What's the Story?
Neither deep snow nor menacing wind keeps brave Irene from her mission--the cross-country delivery of a ball gown stitched by her mom for the duchess. Not even when the gown is snatched by the wind will she desist: She'll take no guff from the wind, and if ultimately all she can deliver is an apology, that'll have to do. Bravo!
Is It Any Good?
This most excellent heroine -- one of only a few in the William Steig canon -- gives as good as she gets from the cruel wind and drifting snow and the deep dark woods. "I'll do no such thing," snaps Irene, when the squall tries to bully her home. She must contend with the workings of fate ("How could anything so terribly wrong be allowed to happen?"). However, she has gotten herself into the mess, all to deliver an empty box and a "Sorry," and that's the beauty of the tale.
The text, typical of Steig's work, is as artful as the illustrations: "By the middle of the pasture, the flakes were falling thicker. Now the wind drove Irene along so rudely she had to hop, skip, and go helter-skeltering over the knobby ground."
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about persistence. Why does Irene carry on even after the gown is lost?
- Author: William Steig
- Illustrator: William Steig
- Genre: Picture Book
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- Publication date: January 1, 2000
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 7
- Number of pages: 32
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Read
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate