...Pieńkowski’s work was often inspired by his Polish childhood and experiences as a wartime refugee. His interest in paper cut-outs stemmed from his time in an air raid shelter in Warsaw, where a soldier had kept him amused by cutting newspapers into
shapes for him.
...For his work as a children’s author, Pieńkowski was awarded the 2019 Booktrust lifetime achievement award, which has in the past gone to some of the greatest names in children’s books, including Shirley Hughes, Raymond Briggs and Judith Kerr.
The critic Nicolette Jones, who chaired the judges selecting Pieńkowski for the award, said he “brought magic to children’s illustration”, while her fellow judge, the author SF Said, said: “Books such as Meg and Mog have shaped so many
generations now that they have become part of the fabric of British childhood and culture in general.”
...He won the Kate Greenaway award in 1971 with the writer Joan Aiken for their second collaboration, The Kingdom Under the Sea, which was comprised of eastern European fairytales. He won his second Greenaway award in 1979 for the scary pop-up book
Haunted House, which demonstrated his tendency towards the gothic.
Pieńkowski was born in Warsaw to a country squire father and a scientist mother. He was three when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, forcing the family to move around Europe before they eventually settled in England in 1946.
In London, he attended the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial school in Holland Park, where he learned Latin and Greek, before going on to King’s College, Cambridge, to study classics and English...
He also won the Kate Greenaway Award - three times - for "The Golden Bird" (1971), "The Kingdom Under the Sea" (1972), and the pop-up book "Haunted House" (1980). (He's written at least 18 pop-up books.)
He illustrated a fairy-tale series in 1977 (four by the Grimms and two by Perrault).
He has three entries in the "Something About the Author" encyclopedia series, plus a 1984 entry in the "Children's Literature Review" encyclopedias, volume 6.
From "Something About the Author," volume 131:
"I never discuss with children and I don't believe in market research. The most important thing is that it must entertain me, then it's got a chance of entertaining someone else."