Written in 1922, this children's novel tells the adventures of a ten-year-old prince who suddenly inherits the throne from his father. At first the boy submits himself to old royal customs and to the influence of the incumbent ministers. However, he soon decides to prove to the world and to himself his independence and courage, reaching out to standards repeatedly set by his heroic ancestry. So, when war breaks out, with his friend Felix, Matthew disguises himself as a common soldier and joins the fight. The life at the front teaches him humility, resolve, emotional self-control, resourcefulness and the price of true friendship. After a triumphant return from the war, Matthew feels that has already acquired enough experience and wisdom to break free from the control of his mentors and advisors and...to govern. He chooses his allies and friends, including King Bum-Drum. In his dream of a fair state, he introduces many bold reforms. Yet, he commits the unfortunate mistake of bringing to life a governing assembly run by adults and children with equal prerogatives. This too far-reaching reform unites his enemies and weakens his country. Foreign powers take advantage of the situation and attack King Matthew's kingdom. This time, despite a brave defense, Matthew is defeated and judged. He is sentenced to death, but the punishment is mitigated at the last minute and turned into an exile on a desert island.
'Little King Matthew' is one of the most famous children's novels in the world. It has been translated into dozens of languages and repeatedly adapted for movies. This limited series edition has been created in memory of the prestigious Polish publication from 1955, which was illustrated by George Srokowski-one of the best Polish graphic artists of the twentieth century.
The author of this Polish novel, Janusz Korczak (the pen name of Henryk Goldszmit, 1878-1942), is a prominent Polish-Jewish writer. He was famous not only for his novels-he was also a pediatrician, educator and social activist. He became famous as a theoretician and practitioner in the field of Education. He was the inventor of an original system of working with children, which was based on partnership, self-governing institutions and procedures, and the promotion of self-education. As a researcher delving in the child's world, he pioneered the development of educational diagnostic activities and became a precursor of children's rights.
Janusz Korczak was a co-founder and director of the orphanage for Jewish children in Warsaw (1912-1942) which was moved in 1940 to the Warsaw Ghetto. Until the last moment, he remained with the orphans. He died a martyr's death in the Treblinka extermination camp.
|Product dimensions:||7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.57(d)|
|Age Range:||10 - 13 Years|
About the Author
In 1912 he founded Dom Sierot - an orphanage for Jewish children - where he introduced an innovative childrearing philosophy based on recognizing the child as a human being of value and deserving respect. A children's assembly, a court of peers and a school newspaper also functioned within the orphanage.
When the Second World War erupted in 1939, Warsaw found itself under German occupation. In the fall of 1940, the orphanage - as a Jewish institution - was relocated to the Ghetto, while Korczak himself was arrested briefly for refusing the armband bearing the Star of David Jews were ordered to wear.
Janusz Korczak's literary career developed alongside his pursuits in social activism and teaching. The pen name Janusz Korczak was taken from a novel by J.I. Kraszewski, a 19th-century Polish writer. Korczak's entire body of literary works is devoted to children. His most well-known stories are: Krol Macius Pierwszy (King Matthew the First), Krol Macius na wyspie bezludnej (King Matthew on a Deserted Island), Bankructwo malego Dzeka (The Bankruptcy of Little Jack) and Kajtus Czarodziej (Kaytek the Wizard). The only exception was his final work - Pamietnik z getta (Diary from the Ghetto) - in which he not only recounted the history of the orphanage and the Warsaw Ghetto, but also reflected on his life, including his childhood and youth.
In 1942 the liquidation of the Ghetto began. Korczak repeatedly refused to save himself, rejecting offers of help from friends who wanted to smuggle him out of the Ghetto and hide him. On the day of deportation, the morning of August 5, 1942 during the so-called major campaign (the main phase of extermination carried out against the inhabitants of the Ghetto), he refused to abandon the children and the employees of the orphanage. All were killed in the Treblinka death camp.