"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!"-- - (Baker & Taylor)
The fearsome witch of Russian folklore mentors a brave teen who draws on her grandmother's wisdom to pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her child-eating host. - (Baker & Taylor)
The fearsome witch of Russian folklore mentors a brave teen who draws on her grandmother's wisdom to pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear and make dinner for her child-eating host. - (Baker & Taylor)
Russian folklore icon Baba Yaga mentors a lonely teen in a wry graphic novel that balances gleefully between the modern and the timeless.
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! Spooky and poignant, Marika McCoola&;s stunning debut&;with richly layered art by acclaimed graphic artist Emily Carroll&;is a storytelling feat and a visual feast. - (Random House, Inc.)
Masha was raised by her grandmother, who regaled her with wry stories about outwitting Baba Yaga, but now her grandmother's dead, her insensitive father is getting remarried, and Masha doesn't feel welcome at home anymore. Luckily, she spots Baba Yaga's newspaper ad for an assistant, so she packs up a few enchanted items and sets off to find the witch. Recalling Baba Yaga stories as well as her grandmother's kindness, lonesome Masha cleverly tackles the witch's assignments. But are her wiles—not to mention her sneaky, innate magical talents—enough to satisfy Baba Yaga's demands? Carroll's dark yet luminous artwork is a perfect match for McCoola's tale, particularly when she illustrates the classic Baba Yaga stories interspersed throughout, which appear in blockier, simplified figures framed by charming folk-art-style designs. Meanwhile, Masha's story is full of eerie shading and delicate detail. Witches are certainly spooky fare, but this Baba Yaga appreciates cunningly creative thinking, and, as Masha discovers, she's surprisingly warmhearted. A perfect match for Deb Lucke's The Lunch Witch (2015). Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews
After Masha's beloved grandmother dies, Masha answers a help-wanted ad to become assistant to the child-eating folkloric character. To win the position, Masha must creatively accomplish challenges set forth by Baba Yaga. This graphic novel shines in its pacing, harmony of image and text, and use of flashbacks and stories-within-stories to advance plot. With vivid coloring, Carroll's digital art establishes setting and tone.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Enter a modern world in which Baba Yaga exists, no questions asked. After Masha's beloved grandmother dies and her widowed father plans to remarry, Masha answers a help-wanted ad to become assistant to the mortar-and-pestle-riding, child-eating folkloric character. To win the position, Masha must creatively accomplish challenges set forth by Baba Yaga, including gaining entrance to and then cleaning the witch's chicken-legged abode. Drawing on lessons learned through her grandmother's stories as well as a streak of her own inherited magical ability, Masha completes each task and begins to realize that her family's connections to Baba Yaga are more complex than previously revealed. Comprised of short chapters, this graphic novel shines in its pacing, harmony of image and text, and use of flashbacks and stories-within-stories to advance plot. With vivid coloring, Carroll's digital art establishes setting and tone. Rhythmic omniscient narration and ornate panel borders for the flashback scenes spotlight the story's Russian folkloric roots. Baba Yaga is depicted as frightening but occasionally endearing; tension builds as she unexpectedly materializes in and out of scenes, sneakily peeking over windowsills and hidden within forest scenery. Sketches in the back matter inform readers of Carroll's creative process. elisa gal Copyright 2014 Horn Book Magazine.
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, Carr oll'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) Copyright Kirkus 2015 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Masha has lost her grandmother, who loved and nurtured Masha after her mother's death. Her stories led Masha to believe that her grandmother had known the fairy tale witch Baba Yaga personally. So when Masha sees a newspaper ad asking for an assistant ("enter Baba Yaga's house to apply"), she strikes out for the famous chicken-legged dwelling. The trials that Baba Yaga challenges Masha with allow her to work through some dark memories and offer a chance to resolve present-day problems, too, including the loss of her father's attention to a new fiancée. Though newcomer McCoola's dialogue wobbles a bit early on ("I'm tired of being overlooked. I need to do something useful for someone"), it tightens up quickly as Masha battles a bear, bathes a closetful of snakes, and sweet-talks Baba Yaga's house into letting her enter ("I think the porch and stairs add grace to your proportions"). Carroll's (Through the Woods) spidery, delicate drawings convey deliciously understated creepiness. Strong, complex characters and the inventive fusion of contemporary and fairy tale elements make this a noteworthy collaboration. Ages 10–up. Agent: Jen Linnan, Linnan Literary Management. (Aug.)
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School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 4–7—Masha is less than thrilled when her widower father announces he is going to remarry. The last thing she wants is a stepmother and stepsister. All she can think of are the tales her grandmother would tell her, filled with evil stepmothers and the terrible trickster Baba Yaga. With emotions running high and feeling unwanted by her father, Masha decides to respond to the following ad: "ASSISTANT WANTED ASAP: 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." Not knowing what to expect, but feeling that nothing can be as bad as her situation at home, she heads into the forest. The events that follow help Masha find the strength to survive and endure Baba Yaga's tests and the courage to face what is waiting back home for her. Upper elementary readers will enjoy how the illustrations create a moody and mysterious creepiness surrounding Baba Yaga. The characters are expressively drawn, adding drama to the story. Masha's tween angst will resonate as she copes with her new family situation. VERDICT This title will find a home with fans of R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps" (Scholastic) and Luke Pearson's "Hilda" graphic novel series (Nobrow).—Carol Hirsche, Provo City Library, UT
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