Jan Pienkowski was born in Warsaw in 1936. During the war Pienkowski moved a lot, from Poland to Austria, Germany, Italy and finally to England in 1946. He went to The Cardinal Vaughan School in London and then to King's College, Cambridge, where he read Classics and English and became involved in stage design. Pienkowski co-founded the greetings card company, Gallery Five. He worked in advertising, publishing, and doing graphics for the BBC children's TV series Watch! In his spare time, he started to illustrate books for children. He won the Library Association Kate Greenaway Medal in 1972 for his silhouette illustrations to Joan Aiken's The Kingdom Under The Sea and again in 1980 for Haunted House. Jan pioneered the modern Pop-up book with Haunted House, Robot, Dinner Time, Good Night and 17 others. Meg and Mog, the series of books which Jan created with Helen Nicoll, has reached 14 titles. Four of them became the Meg and Mog Show, exuberantly staged by David Wood and designed for the West End by Jan. His lifelong interest in stage design landed other commissions: two shows for Theatre de Complicite, then Beauty and the Beast for The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden and a spectacular Sleeping Beauty at Disneyland, Paris.