Review: Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen

Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen

Garlic and the Vampire
Bree Paulsen
Quill Tree Books
Published September 28, 2021

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Garlic and the Vampire

A farm-fresh debut graphic novel starring a heroine who is braver than she realizes.

Garlic feels as though she’s always doing something wrong. At least with her friend Carrot by her side and the kindly Witch Agnes encouraging her, Garlic is happy to just tend her 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?

My Review

I’ve heard other reviewers raving about how much they love this book, so it’s been on my reading list for a bit. I grabbed a few more graphic novels for our home library recently and added a copy of this one to the shelf.

Most of the main characters are vegetables, which is really cute and different. Garlic, the main character, has a lot of anxiety, and she depends on her friend Carrot to help steady her. I think all the vegetable characters were originally created by a witch whose garden they used to work in. Now, they plant and harvest what they choose, and the witch sees them as autonomous beings with free will.

I really liked the scene in which Garlic meets the vampire. She’s terrified but trying to put on a big, brave front, and the vampire’s reaction made me smile. I liked the way the story resolved, too.

On the whole, I’m glad I read this one. It’s super short and really different. I think readers with anxiety will find Garlic easy to identify with, and those looking for a warm, fall vibe with a little Halloween flavor will find lots to love in GARLIC AND THE VAMPIRE.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.

Most characters are vegetables. There’s also a witch and vampire who appear white or white-passing. Garlic has a lot of anxiety.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content

Spiritual Content
There are witch and vampire characters. The witch made the vegetable characters alive to act as her helpers, but now she respects them as individuals with autonomy.

Violent Content
Garlic worries about facing the vampire. She brings a hammer and stake made of hawthorn wood.

Drug Content
The vampire character is shown holding a wine glass full of red liquid. It’s not alcohol, though.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.