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Garlic and the Vampire

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With humor, heart, and an unusual heroine who is braver than she realizes, Bree Paulsen’s colorful and cozy debut graphic novel is a farm-fresh tale that reminds readers to believe in themselves—and that strangers are not always as scary as they seem. An enchanting debut graphic novel to give to middle grade readers who are looking to fall in love with the next Witch Boy or With humor, heart, and an unusual heroine who is braver than she realizes, Bree Paulsen’s colorful and cozy debut graphic novel is a farm-fresh tale that reminds readers to believe in themselves—and that strangers are not always as scary as they seem. An enchanting debut graphic novel to give to middle grade readers who are looking to fall in love with the next Witch Boy or Be Prepared, featuring an unassuming heroine who discovers her own courage and leadership skills and learns to look past stereotypes. Garlic feels as though she’s always doing the wrong thing. No matter how much her friend Carrot and kindly Witch Agnes encourage her, Garlic just wants to tend her own garden, where it’s nice and safe. But when her village of vegetable folk learns that a bloodthirsty vampire has moved into the nearby castle, they all agree that, in spite of her fear and self-doubt, Garlic is the obvious choice to confront him. And with everyone counting on her, Garlic reluctantly agrees to face the mysterious vampire, hoping she has what it takes. After all, garlic drives away vampires . . . right?


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With humor, heart, and an unusual heroine who is braver than she realizes, Bree Paulsen’s colorful and cozy debut graphic novel is a farm-fresh tale that reminds readers to believe in themselves—and that strangers are not always as scary as they seem. An enchanting debut graphic novel to give to middle grade readers who are looking to fall in love with the next Witch Boy or With humor, heart, and an unusual heroine who is braver than she realizes, Bree Paulsen’s colorful and cozy debut graphic novel is a farm-fresh tale that reminds readers to believe in themselves—and that strangers are not always as scary as they seem. An enchanting debut graphic novel to give to middle grade readers who are looking to fall in love with the next Witch Boy or Be Prepared, featuring an unassuming heroine who discovers her own courage and leadership skills and learns to look past stereotypes. Garlic feels as though she’s always doing the wrong thing. No matter how much her friend Carrot and kindly Witch Agnes encourage her, Garlic just wants to tend her own garden, where it’s nice and safe. But when her village of vegetable folk learns that a bloodthirsty vampire has moved into the nearby castle, they all agree that, in spite of her fear and self-doubt, Garlic is the obvious choice to confront him. And with everyone counting on her, Garlic reluctantly agrees to face the mysterious vampire, hoping she has what it takes. After all, garlic drives away vampires . . . right?

30 review for Garlic and the Vampire

  1. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    This was genuinely one of the most precious, wholesome, delightful things I've ever read in my life. If you enjoy cute, fluffy graphic novels featuring magical creatures, witches, vampires, beautiful artwork, and sweet, authentic anxiety rep, you absolutely, 100% need this in your life. Oh, and the main character's best friend casually uses they/them pronouns, and frankly, I would fight for Garlic and Carrot without hesitation because they're both flawless, soft little beans who deserve only hap This was genuinely one of the most precious, wholesome, delightful things I've ever read in my life. If you enjoy cute, fluffy graphic novels featuring magical creatures, witches, vampires, beautiful artwork, and sweet, authentic anxiety rep, you absolutely, 100% need this in your life. Oh, and the main character's best friend casually uses they/them pronouns, and frankly, I would fight for Garlic and Carrot without hesitation because they're both flawless, soft little beans who deserve only happiness. No, you're emotional over fictional produce-people. Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review! ——— twitter | booktok | bookstagram | blog

  2. 5 out of 5

    karen

    the above seems like awfully dark content for a middle-grade graphic novel—a tomato selling baby tomatoes for human consumption, but never fear—in this world, sentient fruits and veggies do work as gardeners, but they only grow non-sentient versions of themselves because magic. although they can bring their produce to life with the right incantations and intentions which possibility is very concerning, especially to our bulbous heroine, who is such a frazzled ball of anxiety, it's fortunate for h the above seems like awfully dark content for a middle-grade graphic novel—a tomato selling baby tomatoes for human consumption, but never fear—in this world, sentient fruits and veggies do work as gardeners, but they only grow non-sentient versions of themselves because magic. although they can bring their produce to life with the right incantations and intentions which possibility is very concerning, especially to our bulbous heroine, who is such a frazzled ball of anxiety, it's fortunate for her that garlic is good for preventing and treating ulcers. admittedly, it's a truly terrifying prospect, and she's right to freak out over the thought of accidentally selling her babies as ingredients, but for whatever reason, the author decided to sweep that under the rug and introduce a whole 'nother conflict—a vampire. even though she's for sure the most high-strung member of the vegetable path, she is garlic, after all—a walking, talking bulb of vampire-repellant, so she's the best candidate to send to confront the vampire. yeah, that's what i just said! honestly, i'm not sure what the garden-folk are in such a panic about—it would be one thing if it were carrot-sucking bunnicula come to dwell in their veggie-valley, but maybe sentient plants have blood? this world is a mystery to me... in any event, garlic rides a bird, is betrayed by a celery, and meets the vampire and things go the way you expect they will go in a children's book. HOWEVER (view spoiler)[it makes no sense to me that the vampire's explanation—that he only occasionally drinks a sip or two of blood from the local wildlife and more typically drinks a beetroot and tomato juice blend with a hint of lime and a pinch of cayenne, should be LESS alarming to someone who is actual friends with beets and tomatoes—that's weird, right? and he says it's "good for the blood," which i suppose is what passes for vampire-humor, but even though they are both gardeners and it's a lovely bonding moment, i would, were i a garlic bulb with an anxiety disorder, be very wary of a vampire who prefers vegetable juice to mammal blood, especially one who buries the lede that he's been working on a 'proper blood alternative' for years, and me standing there with whatever kind of blood/juice mishmash a sentient plant's got inside of them, just BAITING his experimental urges. (hide spoiler)] and maybe i'm expecting too much from a graphic novel for the 8-12 set, but if there's one thing i know about children, it's that they ask A LOT of questions, and if you're someone who's in any way responsible for making sure that kids don't have nightmares, you may want to have an answer to this one at the ready. come to my blog!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    A delightful, all-ages graphic novel about an anthropomorphic garlic bulb that tends a witch's garden along with all the other enchanted fruits and vegetables. They then sell the items in the farmer's market. When the vampire moves into the abandoned castle, she's elected to scare him away due to a vampire's garlic allergy. But what she finds when she visits the vampire doesn't meet her expectations. I love how Garlic has to overcome her anxieties. This book is super cute, perfect for children, A delightful, all-ages graphic novel about an anthropomorphic garlic bulb that tends a witch's garden along with all the other enchanted fruits and vegetables. They then sell the items in the farmer's market. When the vampire moves into the abandoned castle, she's elected to scare him away due to a vampire's garlic allergy. But what she finds when she visits the vampire doesn't meet her expectations. I love how Garlic has to overcome her anxieties. This book is super cute, perfect for children, with spot on art. Received a review copy from Quill Tree Books and Edelweiss.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stay Fetters

    "World domination? Why would anyone ever think that’d be a good idea?" The book is exactly like the cover. It's so cute and I love it. A village of vegetables, a blood-thirsty vampire who just moved to the village, and an anxious little Garlic who just wants to sleep in late and tend to her garden. Tell me that's not the cutest thing ever! Garlic is the sweetest and most adorable little character. Yes, she has her fears but she doesn't let that stop her from putting on a brave face. Garlic might "World domination? Why would anyone ever think that’d be a good idea?" The book is exactly like the cover. It's so cute and I love it. A village of vegetables, a blood-thirsty vampire who just moved to the village, and an anxious little Garlic who just wants to sleep in late and tend to her garden. Tell me that's not the cutest thing ever! Garlic is the sweetest and most adorable little character. Yes, she has her fears but she doesn't let that stop her from putting on a brave face. Garlic might be small but she packs a powerful punch behind her strong message. She is my new hero! Garlic and the Vampire was amazing with fantastic and colorful illustrations. You'll instantly fall in love with this mighty little garlic as she faces her fears, puts her anxiety aside, and puts on her big girl pants to help save her friends. This little garlic has a lot of heart and it makes the story that much more amazing. Everyone should read this tale! Garlic can sit with us but Celery can't. He doesn't even go to this school!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cassidy

    *Finally sat down to write a review! I absolutely fell in love with this charming graphic novel. The atmosphere and illustrations felt like home: comforting and warm. We follow Garlic, our unlikely protagonist, as she is sent to confront the vampire next door. Nervous and unsure if herself, she goes to protect the ones she loves. Heart warming and fun, this has been one of my favorite reads of the year so far.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Super cute story about being brave and not judging on appearances. I loved Garlic and her story! I wish there was more though after they meet the Count. I want another volume! (And for Celery to apologize.)

  7. 4 out of 5

    The Bookish Life of Laura

    Such a cute read! I wish it had been longer and we’d been able to see more of the personalities of the characters, but otherwise it was a lot of fun 🥰

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    When the fruit and vegetable farmers and the witch they live with see smoke rising from a castle in the distance, they investigate, and realize a vampire has taken up residence. Because Garlic is, well, garlic, and there’s that thing with the allium and vampires, Celery nominates Garlic to confront the vampire. Garlic is terrified (she chronically lacks confidence in herself), but convinces herself to go, and discovers a pleasant surprise for her and her fellow farmers. This was a sweet story abou When the fruit and vegetable farmers and the witch they live with see smoke rising from a castle in the distance, they investigate, and realize a vampire has taken up residence. Because Garlic is, well, garlic, and there’s that thing with the allium and vampires, Celery nominates Garlic to confront the vampire. Garlic is terrified (she chronically lacks confidence in herself), but convinces herself to go, and discovers a pleasant surprise for her and her fellow farmers. This was a sweet story about finding one’s courage despite one’s fears, and about respect and friendship.

  9. 5 out of 5

    bridge raymundo

    That was the most adorable book I have ever read in my life and I am legit about to cry in the bookstore. “Garlic & the Vampire” is a sweet little tale about an anxious enchanted garlic bulb, her friend Carrot, the Witch Agnes, and a merriment of enchanted vegetable gardeners. When the old vampire seems to have moved back into the nearby castle, Garlic has to be brave. This is a warm and comforting graphic novel about courage, friendship, and magical produce! I am obsessed with the art style of th That was the most adorable book I have ever read in my life and I am legit about to cry in the bookstore. “Garlic & the Vampire” is a sweet little tale about an anxious enchanted garlic bulb, her friend Carrot, the Witch Agnes, and a merriment of enchanted vegetable gardeners. When the old vampire seems to have moved back into the nearby castle, Garlic has to be brave. This is a warm and comforting graphic novel about courage, friendship, and magical produce! I am obsessed with the art style of this book, this is a fantastic and well-paced October read that I’m tempted to gift to everyone I know.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Conway

    Oh my the graphic novel was super cute and super enjoyable

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    A cute, sweet, simple graphic novel about a humanoid bulb of garlic, her humanoid vegetable friends, the witch who brought them all to life, and their run-in with a vampire. The premise is a little over the top, even for a middle-grade graphic novel, but the idea is cute enough and the illustrations are beautiful.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frank Chillura (OhYouRead)

    Oh! My! Goodness!!!! This was literally the cutest Graphic Novel EVER! All the Characters from the Fruits & Veggies Flock were brought to life by Witch Agnes and grown from her very own garden to help her tend the crops. They all have different personalities and are Oh! So Adorable! I loved Garlic & Carrot. You can definitely see a relationship heading their way in the future. I need more in this story and more artwork from Bree Paulson, because the entire book is so beautiful!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Raul Reads

    This was wholesome and a great read. The main character Garlic was so adorable. It’s a story about an unlikely hero facing the odds and facing her fears. The artwork is so beautiful and vibrant that I just fell in love with the cover from the first time that I saw it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    I'm not crying I just have something in my eye... I'm not crying I just have something in my eye...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cara (Wilde Book Garden)

    This is UNBELIEVABLY precious, everyone read it right now

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    THIS BOOK WAS SO CUTE MY HEART CAN'T HANDLE IT. I WOULD DIE FOR GARLIC THIS BOOK WAS SO CUTE MY HEART CAN'T HANDLE IT. I WOULD DIE FOR GARLIC

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    A precious book about an anxious Garlic and not judging people before you meet them. Great book for kids that get anxious about doing new things.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    Disclaimer: My review for this book is based on an ARC sent to my workplace by HarperCollins; all the following opinions I express are wholly my own. A delightful read about sentient food characters that work in a witch's garden. It has a quaint, calm, Studio Ghibli-esque vibe to it, and the art and colour palette is gorgeous. Full of subtle humour, the story focuses on an nervous garlic bulb who gets volunteered to investigate a vampire who has moved into a nearby castle. The anxiety aspect Disclaimer: My review for this book is based on an ARC sent to my workplace by HarperCollins; all the following opinions I express are wholly my own. A delightful read about sentient food characters that work in a witch's garden. It has a quaint, calm, Studio Ghibli-esque vibe to it, and the art and colour palette is gorgeous. Full of subtle humour, the story focuses on an nervous garlic bulb who gets volunteered to investigate a vampire who has moved into a nearby castle. The anxiety aspect was almost too real- Garlic's inner voice was eerily reminiscent of my thoughts when I'm experiencing panicky moments. Super relatable, visually pretty- all around a sweet story and a nice read!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette Johnson

    I was so excited to read this book as it is written by my niece. I was not disappointed. Vegetables come alive as never before in this story. Garlic is an amazing character. Her courage and bravery is tested when she is elected by her fellow vegetables to get rid of the vampire, in his castle on the hill, outside of town. The illustrations are as beautiful as the story!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I can already tell you that I will be aggressively obsessed with this graphic novel for a good long time. ---- Garlic is an anxious, enchanted little garlic bulb who lives in a garden at the edge of a village with other enchanted fruits and vegetables. The enchanted produce have been brought to life to help the kindly Witch Agnes who runs a farmer's market for the villagers. When the vegetables notice smoke coming from the abandoned, probably haunted castle nearby, they beg Witch Agnes to investig I can already tell you that I will be aggressively obsessed with this graphic novel for a good long time. ---- Garlic is an anxious, enchanted little garlic bulb who lives in a garden at the edge of a village with other enchanted fruits and vegetables. The enchanted produce have been brought to life to help the kindly Witch Agnes who runs a farmer's market for the villagers. When the vegetables notice smoke coming from the abandoned, probably haunted castle nearby, they beg Witch Agnes to investigate and she discovers that a vampire has taken up residence. Since vampires are famously repulsed by garlic, Garlic is sent to the castle to ward off the vampire and protect the folks in town. Garlic is terrified to come face-to-face with a vampire, but determined to help -- and she soon discovers that sometimes the things we are most afraid of aren't as bad as we fear. This graphic novel is an absolute delight in both story and artwork. Apropos of a graphic novel filled with gardening and gardeners, the color pallet is warm and autumnal and lots of care is given to make the plants, both anthropomorphized and otherwise, seem special. This book is replete with metaphors for personal growth and readers will cheer Garlic as she overcomes her fears. More sweet than spooky, this vampire tale is a must-read this fall.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amy Pickett

    Garlic has overslept again, and she’s late for her shift at Witch Agnes’s Market Day, where all of the local fruits and vegetables sell their harvest. Meanwhile, smoke drifts from the chimney of a distant castle, alerting the garden helpers that the spooky house isn’t vacant anymore. Witch Agnes reluctantly admits that the castle's new resident is very likely a vampire. Pointing out that garlic wards off vampires, Celery nominates timid Garlic to visit the castle and even Carrot (her father figu Garlic has overslept again, and she’s late for her shift at Witch Agnes’s Market Day, where all of the local fruits and vegetables sell their harvest. Meanwhile, smoke drifts from the chimney of a distant castle, alerting the garden helpers that the spooky house isn’t vacant anymore. Witch Agnes reluctantly admits that the castle's new resident is very likely a vampire. Pointing out that garlic wards off vampires, Celery nominates timid Garlic to visit the castle and even Carrot (her father figure) agrees that she's the best one for the job. Hoping to prove her bravery – especially to herself – Garlic agrees to confront the vampire, and in the process discovers the beauty of an unexpected friendship. This is a fun graphic novel for young readers who like their spooky stories with plenty of depth and heart.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julia Pika

    Thanks to NetGalley & HarperCollins Children's Books for the early copy in exchange for an honest review. "Garlic and the Vampire" follows talking and walking vegetables that help a local witch sell produce at the farmer's market. One vegetable in particular, Garlic, is extremely shy and anxious. Then news comes in of a vampire moving into town and it makes sense for Garlic to confront them...but does Garlic have the courage to face her fears? A very sweet story! I love the illustrations, they rem Thanks to NetGalley & HarperCollins Children's Books for the early copy in exchange for an honest review. "Garlic and the Vampire" follows talking and walking vegetables that help a local witch sell produce at the farmer's market. One vegetable in particular, Garlic, is extremely shy and anxious. Then news comes in of a vampire moving into town and it makes sense for Garlic to confront them...but does Garlic have the courage to face her fears? A very sweet story! I love the illustrations, they reminded me of the show "Over the Garden Wall" with its almost vintage style. It's also a very honest tale about overcoming anxiety, especially when meeting new people. Highly recommend!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This is a really cute, fun graphic novel. Witch Agnes has a garden in which she enchanted different fruits and vegetables to be alive and human-like. These fruits and vegetables help in the garden and in the market where they sell produce. It was a little strange to get used to a carrot who talks growing other carrots to sell to people but I quickly got over that. The story centers around a vampire who's moved in and Garlic who is tasked with slaying it because, well, vampires hate garlic. The s This is a really cute, fun graphic novel. Witch Agnes has a garden in which she enchanted different fruits and vegetables to be alive and human-like. These fruits and vegetables help in the garden and in the market where they sell produce. It was a little strange to get used to a carrot who talks growing other carrots to sell to people but I quickly got over that. The story centers around a vampire who's moved in and Garlic who is tasked with slaying it because, well, vampires hate garlic. The story is well-written and engaging. I really liked the art, which took on a lot of earth tones, which fit the theme well. A fun, quick read. (Read a digital ARC via Netgalley.)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    *I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley* Had me at, “For all the anxious bulbs” - I’M AN ANXIOUS BULB! When Witch Agnes’ village of veggies learns that a vampire has moved into the valley, they send timid Garlic to use her allium advantage to vanquish him. Garlic manages to muster up her courage, but her quest does not go as expected. Garlic and the Vampire is a cozy adventure about friendship and courage. The artwork is bright and vivid, with full cottagecore cuteness. A sweet read that is *I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley* Had me at, “For all the anxious bulbs” - I’M AN ANXIOUS BULB! When Witch Agnes’ village of veggies learns that a vampire has moved into the valley, they send timid Garlic to use her allium advantage to vanquish him. Garlic manages to muster up her courage, but her quest does not go as expected. Garlic and the Vampire is a cozy adventure about friendship and courage. The artwork is bright and vivid, with full cottagecore cuteness. A sweet read that is sure to be appreciated by fellow anxious folks. Thank you Netgalley and HarperCollins Children's Books for the eARC!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    What an absolutely adorable graphic novel about an anxious little garlic bulb forced to face-off with a vampire who turns out to be less than the bloodthirsty fiend she was expecting. I loved the vegetable garden brought to life by a kindly witch and the sweet illustrations. And the underlying messages about anxiety, friendship, courage, and acceptance are just the cherry on top of a perfect little graphic novel.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kassie King

    Garlic and the Vampire is Bree Paulsen's debut middle-grade graphic novel about the tiniest of vegetables with the biggest of hearts. At the center of our story is Garlic, a lovable protagonist who struggles with anxiety and self-confidence around their peers. When Garlic is chosen by their fellow vegetable folk to confront the new vampire in town, they must learn to face their fears and never judge a vampire by his teeth. While it is written for a middle grade reader, Garlic and the Vampire is Garlic and the Vampire is Bree Paulsen's debut middle-grade graphic novel about the tiniest of vegetables with the biggest of hearts. At the center of our story is Garlic, a lovable protagonist who struggles with anxiety and self-confidence around their peers. When Garlic is chosen by their fellow vegetable folk to confront the new vampire in town, they must learn to face their fears and never judge a vampire by his teeth. While it is written for a middle grade reader, Garlic and the Vampire is relatable for everyone –– not to mention the absolutely gorgeous art! I loved this debut and can't wait to sell it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Violet

    Garlic and the Vampire introduces a cute enough concept: vegetable gardeners who sell their non-sentient produce "offspring" at the farmer's market. Sadly, each concept introduced thereafter fails to do any real problem solving and only serves to create more plot holes with ideas and concepts that further complicate the storyline. If your child is as much of a black/white logical thinker as I was as a child then they'll likely be pinching their brow in frustration. Garlic and the Vampire introduces a cute enough concept: vegetable gardeners who sell their non-sentient produce "offspring" at the farmer's market. Sadly, each concept introduced thereafter fails to do any real problem solving and only serves to create more plot holes with ideas and concepts that further complicate the storyline. If your child is as much of a black/white logical thinker as I was as a child then they'll likely be pinching their brow in frustration.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I AM SQUEALING BECAUSE THIS BOOK INVENTED THE WORD CUTE. This story, the characters, the pictures, the colors, the jokes, the feelings!!! Oh my garlic. I am obsessed with this. Garlic is me, with all her anxiety. I adored her and watching her navigate through all her worries and fears. Just read this book people. I’m going to reread it monthly until I get tired of it, which will never ever happen.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marie -The Reading Otter

    Review: This was such a cute story. Garlic is adorable, as well as the other Vegetable-people. The characters and the art is so cute. But just like in real life, Celery is the worst. Garlic is anxious, but that doesn't stop her when the village calls on her to face the Vampire since everybody knows that Garlic is safe from Vampires. There is so much to love about this story. I would love to read more stories set in this world. This book is great for all ages. Review: This was such a cute story. Garlic is adorable, as well as the other Vegetable-people. The characters and the art is so cute. But just like in real life, Celery is the worst. Garlic is anxious, but that doesn't stop her when the village calls on her to face the Vampire since everybody knows that Garlic is safe from Vampires. There is so much to love about this story. I would love to read more stories set in this world. This book is great for all ages.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This is a really, really nice book. It does take a little bit to settle into the tone it wants (kicking off with sentient vegetables raising and selling [non-sentient] versions of themselves was not too clear right off the bat), but after that it was really cute. The drawing style is a little more offbeat than I was expecting - super cute but not overly cutesy? I was also impressed by the brief but illustrative development of supporting characters, from the pumpkin to the carrot.

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