Cover image for The glass mountain : tales from Poland
The glass mountain : tales from Poland
Walser, David.
Publication Information:
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, [2014]

Physical Description:
84 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
"A collection of magical Polish fairy tales brought to life by artist Jan Pieńkowski"--Page 4 of cover.
My Polish childhood / Say it in Polish -- Fern flower -- Kraków dragon -- Frog bride -- Miller's daughter -- Trumpeter of Kraków -- Glass mountain -- Pan Twardowski -- Warsaw mermaid.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.8 1.0 170760.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GR195 .G53 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
GR195 .G53 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GR195 .G53 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
GR195 .G53 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Jan Pienkowski brings traditional Polish fairy tales to life with vibrant and witty paper-cut illustrations.

Dragons and kings, frogs and spells, witches and mermaids -- all the hallmark characters of traditional Polish fairy tales are found in this magical collection. Jan Pienkowski draws on a distinctive cut-paper technique learned as a child in Poland to produce dramatic and vibrant illustrations for eight time-honored stories. Celebrating honesty, loyalty, and creativity, stories such as "The Krakow Dragon" and "The Warsaw Mermaid" will captivate today's child as much as they did young Jan during his childhood. A pronunciation guide assists the reader with Polish place and character names.

Author Notes

Jan Pienkowski was born in Warsaw in 1936. During the war Pienkowski moved a lot, from Poland to Austria, Germany, Italy and finally to England in 1946. He went to The Cardinal Vaughan School in London and then to King's College, Cambridge, where he read Classics and English and became involved in stage design.

Pienkowski co-founded the greetings card company, Gallery Five. He worked in advertising, publishing, and doing graphics for the BBC children's TV series Watch! In his spare time, he started to illustrate books for children. He won the Library Association Kate Greenaway Medal in 1972 for his silhouette illustrations to Joan Aiken's The Kingdom Under The Sea and again in 1980 for Haunted House.

Jan pioneered the modern Pop-up book with Haunted House, Robot, Dinner Time, Good Night and 17 others. Meg and Mog, the series of books which Jan created with Helen Nicoll, has reached 14 titles. Four of them became the Meg and Mog Show, exuberantly staged by David Wood and designed for the West End by Jan. His lifelong interest in stage design landed other commissions: two shows for Theatre de Complicite, then Beauty and the Beast for The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden and a spectacular Sleeping Beauty at Disneyland, Paris.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Renowned illustrator Pienkowski adds a folk art flair to this collection of traditional Polish tales. In a clear, measured tone and vintage feel, Walser's stories cover a broad range of narratives. A prince sets out to find a wife and ends up with a magical frog. A blacksmith's apprentice uses ingenuity to rescue a princess trapped in a high castle. A young boy bravely takes over after his grandfather, the trumpeter of Krakow, is killed while warning the city of oncoming hordes of Tartars. As in classic folktales and fairy tales, bravery, cleverness, and goodness of heart take center stage. Pienkowski's digitally enhanced cut-paper illustrations cover every page, and while they are sometimes uneven, their unusual blend of geometric shapes, bright colors, and stylized figures is eye-catching. In an introductory note, Walser explains his writing process, and Pienkowski describes his childhood in Poland, particularly the stirring early influence both traditional folktales and paper cutting had on his art. A much-needed pronunciation guide rounds out the collection.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2014 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-4-The Piekowski-Walser team exuberantly present eight dramatic Polish folktales featuring the violence, evil, and heroism characteristic of the genre. The stories are well told and paced, as heroes and villains face death, transmutation, and the devil. Tales include "The Fern Flower," "The Krakow Dragon," "The Frog Bride," "The Miller's Daughters," and "The Trumpeter of Krakow." Among the themes are the importance of unselfishness and love for family and homeland and the shame and dishonor of greediness and thoughtlessness. A thread of darkness runs through these unusual pieces, and Walser doesn't soften disturbing details and the occasional unhappy ending. The text is enhanced by the attractive illustrations, rendered in cut-paper collage and mixed media. The use of black silhouettes with bright colors on mostly white backgrounds lets the images pop. There is a pronunciation guide to help with the Polish vocabulary and forewords by Piekowski and Walser, which reveal their folklore backgrounds and their approaches to the book. A solid addition to libraries where folktale collections circulate well.- Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.