Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 12
- Grade: 3 to 7
- Reading age: 8 to 12
A BookRiot Don’t-Miss 2022 Queer Graphic Novels & Memoirs • "Rabbit Chase is a welcome intersectional work for today's youth."—Traci Sorell, award-winning author of We Are Still Here! and At the Mountain's Base
Anishinaabe culture and storytelling meet Alice in Wonderland in this coming-of-age graphic novel that explores Indigenous and gender issues through a fresh yet familiar looking glass.
Aimée, a non-binary Anishinaabe middle-schooler, is on a class trip to offer gifts to Paayehnsag, the water spirits known to protect the land. While stories are told about the water spirits and the threat of the land being taken over for development, Aimée zones out, distracting themselves from the bullying and isolation they’ve experienced since expressing their non-binary identity. When Aimée accidentally wanders off, they are transported to an alternate dimension populated by traditional Anishinaabe figures in a story inspired by Alice in Wonderland.
To gain the way back home, Aimée is called on to help Trickster by hunting down dark water spirits with guidance from Paayehnsag. On their journey, Aimée faces off with the land-grabbing Queen and her robotic guards and fights the dark water spirits against increasingly stacked odds. Illustrated by KC Oster with a modern take on their own Ojibwe style and cultural representation, Rabbit Chase is a story of self-discovery, community, and finding one’s place in the world.
“This Indigenous spin on Alice in Wonderland is a powerful story of identity and the rich gifts of community and culture.” —Mary Beth Leatherdale, award-winning author and co-editor of #NotYourPrincess
About the authors
Eizabeth LaPensée (she/her or they/them), PhD, is an award-winning designer, writer, artist, and researcher who creates and studies Indigenous-led media, including video games. She is Anishinaabe with family from Bay Mills, Métis, and Irish. She is an assistant professor of media and information, and writing, rhetoric, and American cultures at Michigan State University and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.
KC OSTER (he/she/they) is an Ojibwe-Anishinaabe comic artist and illustrator. They live in the Rainy River District of Northwestern Ontario.
Aarin Migiziins (Little Eagle) Dokum ndizhinikaas, Wiikwemkoosing, Wiikwemkoong ndo njibaa. (My name is Aarin Dokum and my Nishinaabe noozwin/Anishinaabe name is Migiziins. I am from Wikwemkoosing, Wikwemikong Ontario, Canada.)
Aarin was raised by his fluent Nishinaabemwin speaking family and community. He left home at an early age to live in Moosonee, Ontario, Canada and spent three years as a restaurant cook in an isolated Cree community. After a short return home to Wikwemikong, he moved to Lansing, Michigan where he has been living ever since. He shares Anishinaabemwin as a language consultant through Nokomis Cultural Heritage Center. He is grateful for fluent elders and active givers of what he considers the most important part of any culture—language.
- Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Books Centre
“A unique creative product that provides just enough footing for curious readers to explore further on their own. The palette plays a significant role here, with the brown and sepia tones of the real world replaced with dreamy jewel and inky hues, and silhouettes are used particularly effectively, creating an otherworldliness that walks the line between whimsy and menace. The blend of fantasy, gender identity, and supernatural creatures will likely please fans of Ostertag’s THE WITCH BOY.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, 03/22
“A moving graphic novel that touches on identity and cultural legacy, and representation that is sure to impact young readers.”
School Library Journal, 04/22
“The recognizable highlights of Lewis Carroll’s surreal adventure make for an excellent way into what will be unfamiliar cultural ground for many young readers. Even as this engages with several significant and timely social issues (race, gender, bullying) in an accessible way, it also opens a window to seldom explored tribal cultures.”
“RABBIT CHASE is a vibrant take on the classic portal fantasy . . . [and] serves as an exciting introduction to new vocabulary and new narratives its audience is bound to enjoy.”
Quill & Quire, 05/22