The Rabbit’s Gift

Named a Canadian Children’s Book Center’s Best Book for Kids & Teens 2023!

When the delicate balance is broken between the people of a small country and the mythical rabbits of old, a rabbit and a young girl must learn to trust each other. A standalone companion to The Wolf’s Curse, The Rabbit’s Gift is a vivid and inventive novel inspired by French folklore set in a country in which babies are grown in cabbage-like plants called Chou . . . and delivered by rabbits. 

Fleurine, a twelve-year-old aspiring botanist and daughter of the Grand Lumière, secretly tries to grow the elusive purple carrots that humans trade for Chou. She longs for a sibling, but Maman doesn’t want another child. What’s more, she believes science will upset the natural order and insists that Fleurine follow in her political footsteps.

Meanwhile, the human demand for babies has dropped, and the rabbits are starving. A runt named Quincy decides to take matters into his own paws and sets out for the city, determined to prove that you don’t have to be big to be a hero.

When he inadvertently leads Fleurine back to the top-secret Warren, he sets off a string of events that pits them against each other and jeopardizes the future of the entire country––for rabbits and humans alike.


“Told in alternating viewpoints, this lush and colorful fairy tale is sure to be a delight for middle grade readers. Vitalis explores themes of privilege, responsibility, friendship, honor, and being true to oneself…VERDICT This is a thought-provoking read that will stay in readers’ heads for years to come. Recommend to fans of Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon.” ~School Library Journal (Starred Review)

Canadian Children’s Book Center Starred Review

“In The Rabbit’s Gift, Jessica Vitalis explores with deftness and sensitivity the power of perspective in storytelling, and how, quite often, the world is far more complicated than simply a good hero versus an evil villain. Lyrical writing, a vividly inventive world, and wholly endearing characters make this timeless, tenderhearted story shine. A thoroughly enchanting tale.” ~Claire Legrand, New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn 

“The compelling story, based on a French fairy tale, features meticulous mythology, high adventure, and deepening introspection, giving equal attention to the two opposing main characters. An enchanting exploration of the importance of perspective and what it means to lead with an empathetic heart.” ~Booklist

A clever tale of rabbits, cabbage babies, purple carrots, mistakes made, and lessons learned.” ~Kirkus Reviews

“A powerful story about the tenuous place where the human & animal worlds meet. Rooted in French mythology, with gorgeous botanical imagery and timely messages about the importance of working together for the common good.” ~ Kate Albus, author of A Place to Hang the Moon

“A soufflé of a novel.” ~Caroline Gertler, author of Many Points of Me

“Reminding readers that small can still be mighty.” ~Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

I acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts in the writing and polishing of this book. To learn more about their work, visit