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Fresh off the farm

Cover of Garlic & the Vampire
A review of Garlic & the Vampire by Bree Paulsen

Garlic, of the title, is one of the vegetables brought to life by a witch named Agnes. They all work with Agnes in her garden and at her market stall. Garlic is happy and eager, but she's also anxious that she gets things right - at which she doesn't always succeed. One day after returning from the market Potato notices that there is smoke rising from the castle in the woods. Since the castle is supposed to be empty, the vegetables are alarmed. When Agnes tells them that it may be a vampire has returned, their alarm turns to panic. They're determined to do something, but no one is sure what. Until Celery suggests that Garlic, as a natural enemy of vampires, be the one to visit the castle and figure out what's going on. Though Garlic is scared, and not sure that she's strong enough for the task, she is determined to help her vegetable friends. In confronting her own fears (and the stranger in the castle) Garlic learns to have a little more confidence in her own abilities.

I am not much of a reader of graphic novels and mostly only read children's fiction when I pick something up in passing, so I'm not sure how Ms. Paulsen's debut came to be among my holds. Whatever that route? I'm glad it landed in my hands. This is a beautifully illustrated story and was a delight to read. I loved getting to know Garlic and her friends and look forward to her next adventure, Garlic & the Witch.

Aug 5, 2022