The Glass Mountain
Publisher: Walker Books
A resourceful blacksmith's apprentice determines to rescue a princess from imprisonment on the Glass Mountain's perilous summit where other suitors have failed. He manages to scale the mountain, overcome the patrolling eagle, pluck golden apples to distract the ferocious guard dragon and - by resourceful cunning - get his bride.
This is just one of the Polish fairy tales in this wonderfully entertaining collection. Dragons, witches, kings, princesses, resourceful younger brothers and frogs; familiar fairy tale elements appear but with their own decidedly Polish twist, building up a rich impression of a deep magical heritage.
Walser's retellings are swift, clean, poetic yet humorous and Pienkowski's traditional style, intricate, cut-out illustrations are bold pieces of inventive graphic design, using striking colour combinations and page layouts. A great introduction.