Garlic and the VampireGarlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen
My rating: 3/5 cats
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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.


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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.

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