Baba Yaga's Assistant - Marika McCoola, Emily Carroll

Date Published: August 4, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

Date Read: October 26, 2019


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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, and 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!

Wry, spooky and poignant, Marika McCoola's debut--with richly layered art by acclaimed graphic artist Emily Carroll--is a storytelling feat and a visual fest.


A fun romp through a modern retelling of Baba Yaga through the eyes of Russian-American teenager, Masha.  Baba Yaga is in need of an assistant, but first the interviewee has to pass a series of tests. Masha is tired of her home life and decides that with her grandma's stories/lessons, she has a shot of passing the tests and getting the job. Baba Yaga is a witch and is used as a symbol by parents as a warning to their children. Masha doesn't have any fears regarding Baba Yaga, and sees Baba Yaga as a mentor almost. Baba Yaga admires Masha's quick thinking and deductive reasoning. A team is born by the end of the story.