cbr13bingo The Wilds
This is one of the DARNDEST CUTEST BOOKS I HAVE READ THIS YEAR. I picked Garlic and the Vampire up July 13, 2021 and would have read the entire thing right then and there if I had not been at work. I had read a bit about it and thought it sounded cute but was hoping it would live up to the hype of the pre-publication reviews, the promotions, and the fact it just sounded so darn good (after all, hype something up enough it never truly lives up to the anticipation). So waiting was what was needed and dreaded at the same time. (Okay, yes, I did start a few pages, and almost did not get back to work, but I held off until I got home.)
Bree Paulsen created an adorable story about a plucky little garlic who has more courage than she realizes and a message about not judging a book by its cover. This graphic novel is sweet, but not saccharine. It has some “meat to it” but is not “heavy” on the theme. There is an atmosphere of old world, classic tale to the story, along with a hearty dose of modern sensibilities.
When Garlic, her fruit and vegetable friends and Witch Agnes see smoke coming from the (they thought) abandon castle, their imaginations run wild. And when Witch Agnes learns there is a vampire now living there, the theories of why the vampire is there and what he plans on doing move faster than water downstream! When Celery “volunteers” Garlic to find out what is going on, she must overcome her fears, but also the fact she loves her friends, Agnes, and the people of the village they live in. What will a poor little Garlic (who just wants to take naps, be with her friend Carrot, and help at the market) do?
The cover shows you the sweet nature of the tone of the book and how the art will accent the text. The images are charming. They fit the tone of the story perfectly. There are not a lot of colors that are popping off the page but are not muted either. The illustrations make you feel like you are in a European village when vampires, witches and sentient vegetables and fruits lived (mostly) in harmony.
(This is for The Wilds as it is set in a garden and the forest. It is also a wild mystery and a wild-ly fun read!)