by Elizabeth LaPensee, Illustrated by KC Oster, Translated by Aarin Dokum
April 4, 2022, hardcover
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. Aiéme, 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, Aiéme zones out, distracting themselves from the bullying and isolation they've experienced since expressing their non-binary identity.
When Aiéme 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, Aiéme is called on to help Trickster by hunting down dark water spirits with guidance from Paayehnsag. On their journey, Aiéme 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.
Target Age: 8 to 12
“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.” - Booklist
“A moving graphic novel that touches on identity and cultural legacy, and representation that is sure to impact young readers.” - School Library Journal
About the Contributors:
Elizabeth LaPensee (Anishinaabe, Métis, and Irish) is an award-winning Anishinaabe, Métis, and Irish writer and illustrator whose work appears in Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection series, Deer Woman: An Anthology, and more.
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 is from Wikwemkoosing, Wikwemikong Ontario, Canada. 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.