Kaytek, a mischievous schoolboy who wants to become a wizard, is surprised to discover that he is able to perform magic spells and change reality. He begins to lead a double life: a powerful wizard in the dress of an ordinary boy. It’s all great fun using magic to cause strange incidents in his school and neighborhood, but soon Kaytek’s increasing powers cause major chaos around the city of Warsaw. Revolving around the notion that power is not without responsibility, nor without repercussions, this story speaks to every child’s dream of freeing themselves from the endless control of adults and shaping the world to their own designs.
This performance is appropriate for ages 8 and older and will take place in the 2nd Floor Children’s Theater of the Main Public Library.
Photo by Erika Chambers
Presented by www.brianimations.com
About the Author: Janusz Korczak
Janusz Korczak, born Henryk Goldszmit in 1878 or 1879, is celebrated across Europe as a teacher, doctor and radio personality, but above all as a hero and an advocate for children.
As a child, Henryk was quiet, imaginative and an avid reader. When his father, Josef, died in 1896, Henryk turned to writing sad stories and poems to cope. He submitted a play to a contest under the name Janusz Korczak in order to conceal his Jewish identity. The pseudonym stuck.
Korczak studied medicine at the University of Warsaw and went on to work in a children’s hospital. He continued to write, penning stories for children and advice books for parents. At the center of all of his activities was his belief that all children deserve respect.
Later, he became the director of a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw. Korczak was beloved by the children and was heavily involved in their daily lives. After Poland fell under Nazi control in 1939, Korczak moved into the Jewish ghetto with the children. In 1942, he went with the children to Treblinka — despite many offers to flee — where he died alongside the children he had dedicated his life to protecting.
Korczak’s legacy continues in his writings and advocacy for children’s rights. His novel King Matt the First is a classic of Polish children’s literature. It tells the tale of a boy who must rule after his father’s death, implementing child-centered reforms that improve the lives of all citizens. Kaytek the Wizard, published in 1933, features a boy wizard who learns that with great power comes responsibility for one’s actions. The United Nations declared 1979 “The International Year of the Child” to mark the centennial of Korczak’s birth. His ideas also went on to shape the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child, passed unanimously in 1989.
Want to Learn More?
Books for Children
Adler, David A. A Hero and the Holocaust: The story of Janusz Korczak and his children. New York: Holiday House, 2002.
Bogacki, Tomek. The Champion of Children: The story of Janusz Korczak. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009.
Korczak, Janusz. Kaytek the Wizard, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Brooklyn, NY: Penlight Publications, 2012.
Korczak, Janusz. King Matt the First, translated by Richard Lourie. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004.
Books for Adults
Korczak, Janusz. Loving Every Child: Wisdom for parents, edited by Sandra Joseph. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2007.
Lifton, Betty Jean. The King of Children: A biography of Janusz Korczak. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1988.
Metro government is modernizing the parking garage adjacent to the Main Library. Approximately 360 spaces will be added and other improvements will be made to the garage. Several parking spaces are temporarily closed for the duration of construction. Project completion is expected in late spring of 2018. Due to the temporary parking space decrease, please allow extra time when planning your visit.
We also recommend using Nashville MTA’s free Music City Circuit buses, which make regular stops at 5th Ave. N. & Church St. Click here for more information.