A Girl and a Soul

A Girl and a Soul
Tales from the Mountain



• Teachers’ Award for contribution to children’s reading.

Fourteen contemporary fairy tales set in the heart of the mountains that feature such protagonists as a conceited raven, a timid marmot, querulous mice, a lonely wolf, and an unhappy bear.

The animal characters often display human traits and interact like humans. Other stories offer philosophical reflections on the meaning of life (Sister Death, Brother Life).

Tales from the Mountains teach us humility in the face of nature’s forces, and encourage us to protect the environment. The book is intended for children over 9 years, but will captivate both children and parents alike. The authors follows the age-long tradition of telling fairy tales as primal, deeply meaningful stories for readers of any age.

The book becomes a truly magical artifact thanks to the illustrations of Japanese artist Iku Dekune, who currently lives in Prague.


The story Sister Death has taken my breath away. Death has always been pictured as on a travel, collecting bodies and releasing the soul. In the mind and magic of Martin Vopěnka, Death has become a nurturing big sister, solicitous now, softly mocking next. She is the gentlest soul in the universe and when she touches people and animals, she seems to give life to them… Martin Vopěnka says for those who hide from Death, they see only darkness. For those who face Death, they see through her face and witness Eternity.

Tito Genova Valiente, Business Mirror

Books detail

Original title: O duši a dívce. Pohádky z hor,
Publisher: Mladá fronta, Praha, 2016,
ISBN: 978-80-204-4219-2,
Illustrations: Iku Dekune,
144 pages,
Age: 9+

Cover of the book