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GARLIC & THE VAMPIRE by Bree Paulsen


by Bree Paulsen ; illustrated by Bree Paulsen

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-06-299509-4
Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Friendly vegetables investigate a new arrival.

Garlic is late for market day, but her friend Carrot doesn’t mind covering for her. It’s a bustling time, with different vegetables selling unmagicked versions of themselves in an old-fashioned rural village. In this cheerful, boldly inked graphic novel for younger readers, these (totally adorable) anthropomorphic plants with diverse genders live side by side with humans, all under the watchful eye of the kindly but powerful Witch Agnes, who created them as “mute little helpers” but has enjoyed their growth into independent contributors to the community. When the vegetables notice smoke trailing from the chimneys of a nearby castle, Agnes uses her magic to investigate and discovers that a vampire has moved in. Nervous Garlic is tasked with slaying the bloodsucker, given their folkloric revulsion to her kin. Antagonistic Celery goes with her reluctantly, payback for his willingness to sacrifice her for the mission. Vampire lore and information about witchcraft are woven throughout, and Witch Agnes’ wisdom often speaks directly to the audience. It’s a quick but packed read, and readers will cheer Garlic’s growth from anxious to triumphant, though children looking for a spooky vampire tale will soon discover that this depiction is more cheerful than chilling.


(Graphic fantasy. 7-10)