Garlic & the Vampire by Bree Paulsen

Garlic & the Vampire by Bree Paulsen, Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins, 2021. 9780062995094 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover graphic novel

Genre: Fantasy

What did you like about the book? Witch Agnes has given life to a number of vegetables to help with gardening and selling at the market.  When Potato spies smoke coming from the old abandoned castle everyone becomes worried that a Vampire has moved in and the townspeople will be at risk.  Celery volunteers Garlic to confront the Vampire – given that vampires are afraid of garlic. The timid Garlic agrees to go, though reluctant and frightened.  What she discovers is not just her courage but a friendly vegetable gardening Vampire. Just the fact that we have walking, talking vegetables capable of emotions is quite enough to make this story unique and fun, but the facial expressions on the vegetables crying, laughing, full of fear, hesitant and worried are beyond perfect.  Varying shades of green dominate with a darkened feel as if underground.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book? For the kids who have outgrown Owly, this would make a nice transition.  Kids who like graphic novels in the realm of Phoebe and Her Unicorn and The Tea Dragon Society but don’t want anything heavy or scary. Another wonderful story about a vegetarian vampire is The Last Vampire by Willis Hall.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Graphic novels

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  If you like fun graphic novels with happy endings, yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Editor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: October 4, 2021

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