The Rabbit's Gift

The Rabbit's Gift
Age Range
8+
Release Date
October 25, 2022
ISBN
978-0063067462
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Quincy Rabbit and his warren live a simple yet high-stakes life. In exchange for the purple carrots they need to survive, they farm and deliver Chou de vie (cabbage-like plants that grow human babies inside) to the human citizens of Montpeyroux. But lately, because of those selfish humans, there haven’t been enough carrots to go around. So Quincy sets out to change that—all he needs are some carrot seeds. He’ll be a hero.

Fleurine sees things a little differently. As the only child of the Grand Lumière, she’s being groomed to follow in her mother’s political footsteps—no matter how much Fleurine longs to be a botanist instead. Convinced that having a sibling will shift her mother’s attention, Fleurine tries to grow purple carrots, hoping to make a trade with the rabbits. But then a sneaky rabbit steals her seeds. In her desperation to get them back, she follows that rabbit all the way to the secret warren—and steals a Chou.

Quincy and Fleurine have endangered not just the one baby inside the Chou, but the future of Montpeyroux itself—for rabbits and humans alike. Now, they’ll have to find a way to trust each other to restore the balance.

Told from both Quincy’s and Fleurine’s perspectives, The Rabbit’s Gift will enchant fans of Katherine Applegate, Gail Carson Levine, and Anne Ursu.

Editor review

1 review
Become who you're meant to be.
(Updated: January 14, 2023)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What worked:
The author adds interest and helps expand the vocabulary of young readers through footnotes. Quincy, the main character and Angora Roux rabbit, uses some descriptive, mature words and the author provides additional context or meaning for them at the bottom of the pages. These footnotes are shared from the perspective of a rabbit and they aren’t necessarily definitions of the words. For example, Quincy states human hands have inadequacies and apologizes if we’re offended that our hands aren’t designed for digging. Another time, the word myriad is used and Quincy says it’s a much more interesting word than variety. This technique adds playfulness to the rabbit’s narrative while potentially broadening the language of young readers.
The relationship between the rabbits and humans is highly unusual. They both believe in supreme beings, the Great Maman Rabbit and the Great Maman in the Moon, who have created a symbiotic relationship between the two groups. The humans provide rabbits with the purple carrots they’re dependent on while the rabbits provide cabbage-like plants called Chou containing babies for the humans. The rabbits will try eating clover when they’re desperate but purple carrots, not other varieties, are the basis for their diets. Humans in other parts of the world still have mothers giving birth to live children as readers might expect but Montpeyroux relies on rabbits for human reproduction.
The story is told from contrasting points of view that highlight the two main characters' internal conflicts. Quincy admits he may have stolen from the humans first but he views Fleurine as the thief who ignites a clash between the two groups. Quincy seeks recognition from his family and warren so he sets out on his own to find purple carrot seeds. He hopes growing his own crop of this vegetable will make the rabbits independent of needing help from the humans. Fleurine’s mother is the Grand Lumiere among humans in Montpeyroux and Fleurine is unhappy with the demands and expectations of being her daughter. Fleurine would rather pursue a study in botany instead of becoming the next leader.
What didn’t work as well:
I find myself wondering throughout the plot if Fleurine and Quincy will ever realize they share a strong interest in plants and gardening. It seems like an obvious connection but it’s not fully explored during the story. Quincy’s thoughts set everything in motion and Fleurine’s insight results in a solution to the main conflict.
The Final Verdict:
This book exceeds my expectations as the characters and issues add depth to the story. The internal conflicts of Quincy and Fleurine are catalysts for their actions and the plot has relevance to concepts in the real world. Poverty and hunger are examples of problems addressed. Overall, this book is quite enjoyable and I recommend you give it a shot.
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