Baba Yaga's Assistant

Baba Yaga's Assistant

Graphic Novel - 2015 | First edition, reinforced trade edition.
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"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, that magic is fickle, that nothing is too difficult or too dirty to clean. The fearsome witch of folklore needs an assistant, and Masha needs an adventure. She may be clever enough to enter Baba Yaga's house-on-chicken-legs, but within its walls, deceit is the rule. To earn her place, Masha must pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her host. No easy task, with children on the menu!" -- provided by publisher.
Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2015.
Edition: First edition, reinforced trade edition.
ISBN: 9780763669614
076366961X
Branch Call Number: J MCCOOLA
Characteristics: 125 pages : chiefly illustrations (chiefly color) ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Carroll, Emily - Illustrator

Opinion

From Library Staff

Baba Yaga is one of the scariest monsters in Russian folklore. Even Baba Yaga's house is scary, it runs around on chicken legs! Masha will find out if she has what it takes to be Baba Yaga's assistant. For those who would like to know what it's like to be a minion.

Everyone knows Baba Yaga is not to be trusted but young Masha finds herself signing up to work for the mysterious witch. Is she simply seeking adventure or is there something even more terrible that she’s running from? Suggested by Emily.


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GeeksInTheLibrary Oct 17, 2017

A modern re-imagining of the classic Russian folktales featuring the terrible witch in her chicken-legged hut and a young girl bound to her service. A spooky story for readers who like heroes who can overcome anything.

Mark_Daly Aug 15, 2017

As an introduction to Baba Yaga, this is pretty great. However, I think the heroine is drawn as a teenager, making her a little too old for the part. This lessens the drama somehow.

o
obtusata
May 12, 2017

This starts as a story of grief and mourning, but brings in the magic and trickery of Baba Yaga. It's absolutely delightful.

The art is as you'd expect from Emily Carroll - lovely and creepy.

i
indypunx
Apr 23, 2017

Lovely twist on the fairy tale genre. Both myself and my 11 yr old son loved this little graphic novel and reference the plot and art still a couple months after reading.

l
LadyKatka
Aug 08, 2016

I would have rated this higher if it didn't feel like half a story. There are so many threads left hanging when the story is over and none really got fleshed out. This could have been epic if not for the questions upon questions the reader is left with. This kinda feels like a story a child would tell, because very little thought actually goes into the details. The artwork is great, and if you know the tales of Baba Yaga you will see a lot of mention of them here. However, if you do not know who Baba Yaga is, then most of this will go right over your head, which is a shame. Worth a read, but not destined to be a classic.

b
BWilsoned
Jul 31, 2016

Thoroughly enjoyed the "Masha"-up of fairy tales and Baba Yaga folktales. The main character is a young woman who's father is so out of touch with her, he's engaged to a woman he's yet to introduce to his daughter! Understandably, Masha decides to seek a better way (now that the loving grandmother who raised her has died) and answers a help-wanted ad. This story is obviously about family, love, fitting in, seeing one's own strengths, but it's also about stories and memory and the thin line between reality and fiction.

s
skyekilaen
May 16, 2016

Masha’s father hasn’t been there for her, not since the death of Masha’s mother long ago, or the recent loss of the grandmother who raised her. Now he’s marrying a woman he hasn’t even introduced to Masha previously. Not okay! So Masha answers an ad to become Baba Yaga’s assistant. Armed with the stories her grandmother told her about the witch, she sets out to pass the tests she’s given as part of the job… without betraying her own conscience. Masha is smart and capable, which makes sense given she’s been basically alone for quite some time. (I really don’t like her dad, can you tell?)

The book blends Masha’s current trials with memories of her past. She’s trying to find her own place in the world, since her old one is gone. Some of the flashbacks are profoundly sad, but the overall feeling of the book is of Masha getting her feet under her. Carroll’s cartooning is skilled, handling the changes from past to present well. There is no happy reunion here, though Masha does talk to her father once more. But it’s her time to move forward. Really enjoyed this one.

KateHillier May 11, 2016

A fun and fast read. I originally picked this up because I am in love with the artist's book "Through the Woods." She's understandably a little more restrained here but it's still wonderful - a house with chicken legs being a standout.

Masha is a teenaged girl who was basically raised by her grandmother after her mother's death. Her father is still alive but they've been distant - enough that she barely knows the woman that he plans to marry. Masha's grandmother always told her about her time with Baba Yaga and other stories. So she has no issue answering Baba Yaga's ad for an assistant. Her knowledge of fairy tales becomes very useful.

Can we have a sequel? Please?

b
BUNBUN1978
Dec 08, 2015

I liked this graphic novel.However I felt i was too short too many question were left unanswered.For example how exactly did the Grandma know Baba Yaga. Were the story she was telling true.?

multcolib_susannel Aug 16, 2015

Saddened by the death of her mother, but encouraged by her grandmother, Masha answers a newspaper ad from the Russian Witch Baba Yaga.

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multcolib_susannel Aug 16, 2015

multcolib_susannel thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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GeeksInTheLibrary Oct 17, 2017

A modern re-imagining of the classic Russian folktales featuring the terrible witch in her chicken-legged hut and a young girl bound to her service. A spooky story for readers who like heroes who can overcome anything.

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