120 adventures of Koziołek Matołek
Kornel Makuszyński (1884-1953), Polish writer and poet, columnist, theatre critic and journalist, a member of Polish Academy of Literature, before World War II he was one of the most widely read writers, who wrote a series of children’s books about the adventures of Koziołek Matołek and Fiki-Miki monkey, and for the youth – Szatan z siódmej klasy / Satan from the 7th grade and Szaleństwa panny Ewy / The Follies of Miss Eva. He studied Polish and Romance studies at the Jan Kazimierz University in Lviv, and in 1908-10 he broadened his knowledge of Romance languages at the Sorbonne in Paris. With Kasprowicz, Staff and Władysław Orkan he travelled around Europe and visited Russia, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and England. In 1929 the writer became an Honorary Citizen of Zakopane. On Makuszyński's initiative, a sanatorium for youth was created on the slopes of Gubałówka. The writer also raised funds for skiing gear for the poorest highlander children. Eventually a thousand pairs of skis were bought. In 1930, the first competition for the Kornel Makuszyński Cup was held. Later on, the contest featured the participation of such prospective champions as Bronisław Czech and Stanisław Marusarz.
The writer lived through the German occupation in Warsaw, cooperating with the insurgent press. After the capitulation of the Warsaw uprising, he went through the camp in Pruszków. Afterwards he journeyed to Kraków. In November 1944, he settled down in Zakopane.
The stories in verse form intended for the youngest readers played a very important role in Makuszyński’s artistic output – in fact, his stories may be considered precursors of comic-books. Four-verse stanzas written in octameter were printed below each of the 120 drawings that appeared in subsequent issues.
Such a form was given to Merry Zoo / Wesoły zwierzyniec, a book illustrated by Kazimierz Grus. In 1933, Makuszyński published the book The Adventures of Matołek the Billy-Goat / Przygody Koziołka Matołka, which was illustrated by Marian Walentynowicz and became Makuszyński’s most popular work.