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Baba Yaga's Assistant

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  5,589 ratings  ·  702 reviews
Must have skills in hauling, obeying orders, cooking, and cleaning. Magical talent a bonus. Must be good with heights. Enter Baba Yaga's house to apply.

Most children think twice before braving a haunted wood filled with terrifying beasties to match wits with a witch, but not Masha. Her beloved grandma taught her many things: that stories are useful, t
Hardcover, 132 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Candlewick Press

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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,589 ratings  ·  702 reviews

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Raeleen Lemay
I really enjoyed the art and how each page had its own unique color scheme, but the story itself fell flat.
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Another enjoyable graphic novel aimed at a young audience. I liked how magic was used in the story and the little tricks Masha thought of to get out of trouble or complete the challenges she was given. Astute girl.

I wasn’t impressed by the graphics though… which is unfortunate because I know the artist, Emily Carroll, having read Through the Woods by her, so I’m certain that she could have done a better job. Some pages looked so sketchy.

Also, It would have been a valuable element to the story i
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic, ya
All this time Masha thought her father was burying his grief for his dead wife in work, so she forgave him for never spending any time at home. But when she finds out that he has actually been romancing a new woman and that she's getting not only a step-mother but a brat of a stepsister -- well, suddenly that want-ad for living in the forest with an evil witch sounds rather appealing.
David Schaafsma
I put this on my list because one of my favorite illustrators and horror storytellers, Emily Carroll, illustrated this, a first book by Marika McCoola that draws on an ancient myth about Baba Yaga, a baby-eating witch. A girl, not really feeling at home in her Dad's new family, applies to become Baba Yaga's assistant. I like the ending, which surprises me a bit. I like the art though like it less well than some other Carroll projects, and wasn't all that engaged with the story.
Book Riot Community
This wonderful graphic novel is about a young girl named Masha whose father has become very distant since her mother died. When the father announces he has a new girlfriend, who has children of her own, Masha takes off into the woods. There she meets Baba Yaga, the Russian witch, and attempts to meet each of her challenges in order to become her assistant.

Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new books, All The Books:
Dov Zeller
This book is fairly clunky and puppy-ish (awkward? almost feels like an early draft of something) and for at least the first half, doesn't quite come together. I love, though, that it is trying to bring folklore into the present moment. And that it values the resourcefulness of the protagonist and presents Baba Yaga as a delightfully complex character.

The reason I am giving it four stars (oh rating systems, how ambivalent I feel when you are near) is because it does something that I rarely find
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
Nice, quick read. I love stories having to do with Baba Yaga. It was def worth the read. I'm giving it 3.5 stars.

Full review to come.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
*** Review Baba Yaga's Assistant on Kati's Bookaholic Rambling Reviews ***

I have always wanted too read book by Baba Yaga after I read the book Uprooted there are some reference about her in Uprooted, which by the way I just love Uprooted as well. So when I saw this graphic novel that has Baba Yaga in it I wanted to give it a go and read it since I am really into graphic novels lately. So I check it out from the library this book is a 3.5 star for me I did
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.

Baba Yaga is perhaps the most famous witch outside of Oz. If it, then she is tied with the White Queen from Narnia. She is old, ugly, tough as nails in boots, and doesn’t take crap from anyone. All that said, to call her evil isn’t quite right. She is, to a degree; I mean she has a taste for young flesh, but there is something about her that defies easy classification. Even when comparing her cannibalistic urges to the witch from “Hansel and Gretel”, Baba Yaga seem
The story fell a little flat, but I did like Baba Yaga's portrayal. Scary but not entirely unreasonable.
Cameron Chaney
This was pretty good. As a big fan of Emily Carroll's work on Through the Woods, I had high hopes for this one. And I wasn't let down by her artwork here. It is simply beautiful to look at, not to mention creepy. I give a big 5 stars to the art!

In terms of the story... well, it isn't quite on par with Emily Carroll's storytelling in Through the Woods, probably because Emily didn't write this story. She just illustrated it. It just felt too short to me, and the solutions the main character came u
Jackie "the Librarian"
A fun modern retelling of Baba Yaga stories, with just a little bit of Cinderella thrown in as the framing story. Ever since Masha's mother died, her father has been distant. Masha longs for attention, and is hurt to find out he's been spending time with others.
Seeing an ad for an assistant for the legendary witch, Baba Yaga, who Masha knows from her grandmother's stories, she decides to go where she may actually be wanted. taking with her her grandmother's matryoshka dolls and her ingenuity.
#2015-Reading-Challenge-Group--week 42: a graphic novel. A new reading experience for me...and fitting for the Halloween season! I quite enjoyed this ya tale, which brings the Baba Yaga story into the modern era. The witch advertises for an assistant and Masha, a young teenager whose home life is in upheaval, decides to apply. Masha must pass several tests to get the job and shows lots of ingenuity while learning a few of life's lessons along the way. Lovely graphics.
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was SO WONDERFUL. I was a little skeptical, because I'm used to seeing Emily Carroll (who I LOVE) doing super creepy, usually not suitable for children, illustrations and comics. However, she does such an awesome job in this really sweet story. Her artwork is soooo beautiful, the writing is awesome. Baba Yaga is terrifying, but in an endearing kinda way. Loved seeing old folklore told in new ways.

Ps. my fav character is the house <3
Melissa Chung
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a cute story. I loved the illustrations. 4 stars!

This story is about Masha a girl who had lost her mother at an early age. She was raised by her grandmother. Her grandmother told her lots of stories of Baba Yaga and other fairy tales. In the Baba Yaga stories Masha's grandmother told her all about her adventures while she stuck with the witch.

When Masha is a (teen?) her father decides to remarry. Although the new woman seems nice, her soon to be sister is a monster. Masha dec
Andi M.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Re-read this one with my son at the beginning of summer 2018 and loved it even more than the first time.

Don't expect the same old witch story. More ambiguous than most but in a great way.
Kayla Leitschuh
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book had an interesting modern take on the traditional Baba Yaga story.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Not as good as I expected it to be, given that it's a Baba Yaga story, but not bad. Masha and her new stepsister-to-be are having a hard time adjusting to each other, so Masha runs away to answer Baba Yaga's ad for an assistant. When Baba Yaga decides to test her, Masha is ordered to cook her new stepsister. What will she do? Baba Yaga is depicted here as an evil old woman with a tiny bit of heart. Masha is brave and clever and doesn't let the witch scare her, especially since she's read all the ...more
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
The way the story was told was interesting with some touches of Baba Yaga's tale associated with the main story and with Masha's memories. The magic was entertaining and I also appreciated Masha's various interactions with Baba Yaga and her creatures. The memories were warm and sad at the same time, adding a sweet dimension to the story and the art. Sadly, the family time wasn't as pleasant to read, what happened annoyed me, but it worked with the story and I liked the ending. On the art side, e ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this graphic novel. It's adorable, the art easy to follow, I love the contemporary setting and the interspersed fairy tales. Possibly my favorite graphic novel to date.

Ava Jae
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so fun! I loved the twist of being an assistant for an evil, scary witch.
A magical story about a girl finding her place in the world!

I was thinking it would be only about Baba Yaga and her new assistant, as that is what the title and the blurb implies. Let me tell you this, it is indeed about that, but also about so much more. It is about families, about mourning, about death, about finding a place you belong, yes, the book made me sad, it made me happy, it made me feel a whole lot. The pieces with Baba Yaga were terrific and I loved to find out more about Baba Yaga
Sep 01, 2015 rated it liked it
A good middle grade fantasy featuring the incredibly cool Russian witch Baba Yaga. She's my absolute favorite wicked witch, and McCoola obviously feels the same way. She incorporates a lot of different Baba Yaga stories. So what kept this from being great for me? For one, I felt like her concept of Baba Yaga was a little confused. I think she wanted to make her be an ultimately benevolent force to help young girls grow, but that isn't really compatible with the folklore she draws so heavily on. ...more
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
Finished this clever little graphic novel in one sitting! Meant for middle grade readers, the story (a take on the Russian folklore tales about a witch named Baba Yaga) is spooky and poignant enough for adult readers to enjoy. The illustrations were also wonderful.

More like a 3.5
Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Actual rating 3.5

Review to come.
3.5 stars

This was good. I did enjoy it but it felt a little too short. It would make more sense if this was apart of a series but on its own its not really long enough. Still as an MG book its prob just right for younger readers. Though it is on the dark and creepy side with heavy topics such as loss of a loved one.
Intisar Khanani
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
A fun read. It could have used a little more nuance / complexity, especially in the resolution. But overall, quite enjoyable.
Angela Johnson
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
I absolutely get why Rebecca and Liberty raved about this on All The Books! I had never heard of Baba Yaga before but now I want to go look up the stories. This one was endearing if a bit bittersweet.
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I got a copy of this graphic novel to review through Netgalley. This ended up being a well done young adult graphic novel that explores both growing up and the myths surrounding Baba Yaga.

Masha is struggling when her dad announces that he is getting re-married. Part of the “new” family includes a viscious little girl. Masha is desperate for an adventure (and to escape her new family) answers an ad looking for an assistant for Baba Yaga. After undergoing a number of trials and outwitting Baba Yag
As a newly minted Emily Carroll devotee, I was expecting to like this more than I did. And then I realized that the problem is that while this is illustrated (AMAZINGLY, of course) by Emily Carroll -- it isn't written by her. Emily Carroll is an amazing writer, as evidenced by Through the Woods.

Marika McCoola's storytelling is not as amazing as it could be. The story feels a little choppy and confusing, and the wording of things is kind of awkward at times. All that being said, I think I will b
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Around the Year i...: Baba Yaga's Assistant, by Marika McCoola 1 13 May 20, 2017 09:03PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McCoola 4 15 Oct 15, 2015 04:12AM  
graphic novel 1 6 Aug 22, 2015 09:45AM  

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Marika McCoola has an MA in writing for children from Simmons College and is a former children’s book buyer at an independent bookstore in Massachusetts. Baba Yaga’s Assistant marks her publishing debut. She lives in Massachusetts.
“Naughty children have to be protected. Even if it's just from themselves.” 4 likes
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