BABA YAGA'S ASSISTANT by Marika McCoola
Kirkus Star

BABA YAGA'S ASSISTANT

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

After her long-distant father remarries, a young woman leaves home to be the assistant to the famous witch Baba Yaga in this clever reinvention.

After her mother’s death, Masha resides with her father, who keeps his distance from her both physically and emotionally. She is raised by her loving grandmother, who tells her all about her experiences with the cunning old crone Baba Yaga and the schemes she used to trick the aged witch. In a swift turn of events, her grandmother dies, and Masha's father remarries. Her new stepmother is aloof and has her own young daughter, Dani, a horrid, hand-biting brat. In a moment of desperation, Masha decides to follow in her grandmother's footsteps and answers an advertisement to be Baba Yaga's assistant. Once installed in the chicken-legged hut, she learns of the three purposefully tricky tests she must complete. McCoola's offering is a well-nuanced delight, satisfyingly blending fairy tale, legend, and thrills. As a perfect complement, Carroll's evocative art enthralls, capturing both the emotion and the magic of McCoola's yarn and breathing new life into an old folk tale. Though structured like a fairy tale, this clever and well-appointed graphic novel is refreshingly modern and obviously enjoys playing with conventions.

A magnificently magical must-read for all fairy-tale fans. (Graphic fantasy. 9-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6961-4
Page count: 136pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2015




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