*Join Porter Square Books to celebrate the paperback release of Baba Yaga's Assistant, by our very own Marika McCoola! Meet us over on Crowdcast to hear Marika discuss the book, learn about the creation process and the craft of comics, and have the opportunity to order your own signed copy in this free-and-open-to-all online workshop suitable for the whole family. Have pencil and paper ready so you can participate in some comics activities!*
To attend, register on Crowdcast here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/BabaYagasAssistant
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.
Marika McCoola is an illustrator, educator, and the New York Times bestselling author of Baba Yaga's Assistant. She studied illustration, art history, creative writing, and ceramics at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland and received her BFA in Illustration in 2009. Marika then went on to study creative writing and children's literature at Simmons College, receiving an MFA in Writing for Children in 2012. In addition to writing and illustrating, Marika is one of the owners of Porter Square Books, where she runs school book fairs. She has taught online for the State University of New York, Empire State College, and Skidmore College and currently teaches for Bard College at the Care Center, Holyoke. She currently resides in Somerville, MA, where she enjoys bicycling everywhere.
"As a storyteller, McCoola is as shrewd as Masha and nearly as shrewd as Baba Yaga...There are all sorts of curricular possibilities here: exploration of folktale retellings, discussion about modernization, and even analysis of the use of the wordless panels and how art moves the story forward, but mostly this graphic novel deserves to just be savored as an old story yanked into modernity and told with aplomb."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Register for the event here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/BabaYagasAssistant