The Rabbit's Gift

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
320 Pages
Reviewed on 02/03/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

The Rabbit’s Gift by Jessica Vitalis is an unusual fantasy tale that follows the life of rabbits with a very special job. They grow human babies in plants they call Chou de vie and deliver those babies to the people that live in Montpeyroux. But the rabbits are facing a huge problem. Selfishness has spread among the humans and they’ve started to refuse the rabbits their payment of purple carrots. A rabbit named Quincy comes up with a drastic plan. Meanwhile, Fleurine is a human with dreams of becoming a botanist, which goes against everything that her mother wants for her. She longs to have someone to talk to, with the hope that a sibling will fill that void. This leads her to the idea of growing purple carrots to make a deal with the rabbits. When she catches a rabbit attempting to steal, she decides to follow it and obtain a sibling herself.

The unique storytelling draws you in instantly with the way Quincy talks directly to the reader from the beginning of the book. Quincy’s position is established fairly quickly as he contemplates the roles of heroes and villains, putting himself somewhere in the middle. Contemplation is a concept used throughout as you get to know Quincy and Fleurine as two characters desperate to obtain what they want. Fleurine longs for a sibling while Quincy is trying to get the carrots that the rabbits need, which puts them on the same path. Jessica Vitalis maintains a quirky and lighthearted tone. Quincy is a fun character that children will love for his active imagination and attitude that will have them laughing. The style matches the aesthetic of the rabbit world, such as the freeze and flee response, special greetings, ten more twitches (sleep), collywobbles, and letting the great Maman rabbit guide you. Meeting Quincy first, you see his perspective on humans with them viewed as greedy villains. Transitioning into Fleurine’s perspective, you get a deeper understanding of the human side, which relates to the idea of heroes and villains. As the story progresses, the understanding of what those two concepts mean shifts. The Rabbit’s Gift is brought to life through charm, quirkiness, humor, and endearing characters.