The Pienkowski-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. … 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. … A solid addition to libraries where folktale collections circulate well.
—School Library Journal
A satisfying retelling of eight Polish tales, paired with bold multicolor paper cuttings that employ traditional and modern motifs. … The stories are lively and accessible… The sometimes-whimsical illustrations use silhouettes and collage and exhibit a range of clothing styles. The animals, both real and mythical, are especially effective.
In a clear, measured tone and vintage feel, Walser’s stories cover a broad range of narratives. … Piekowski’s digitally enhanced cut-paper illustrations cover every page, and … their unusual blend of geometric shapes, bright colors, and stylized figures is eye-catching.
The strong colors and shiny feel of the book are rather striking; even more so are Jan Pienkowski’s high-contrast paper cutout illustrations, which derive from Polish folk art but which, in these pages, emit an almost African vibe. The tales vary in length and strength, as folk tales do, but together offer a dramatic glimpse into the Polish storytelling tradition.
—Wall Street Journal