Except If

( 1 )

Overview

In the beginning, there is an egg. Which may become a baby bird, except if it becomes a baby snake instead. Except if the baby snake is really truly a dinosaur!

In this young, clever, and whimsical picture book in the spirit of Not a Box and First the Egg, an egg is not just an egg, but a symbol of the potential a child's imagination holds. As each image melds smoothly, but unexpectedly, into the next, readers are invited to stretch the limits ...

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Overview

In the beginning, there is an egg. Which may become a baby bird, except if it becomes a baby snake instead. Except if the baby snake is really truly a dinosaur!

In this young, clever, and whimsical picture book in the spirit of Not a Box and First the Egg, an egg is not just an egg, but a symbol of the potential a child's imagination holds. As each image melds smoothly, but unexpectedly, into the next, readers are invited to stretch the limits of their imagination.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Averbeck (In a Blue Room) explores the idea of expectations in this short, sweet, philosophical speculation. "An egg is not a baby bird," he explains, with a picture of a blue egg with a crack in it. "ut it will become one" (the egg breaks open to reveal a small red head), "except if it becomes a baby snake," reads the text as the red head proves to have a forked tongue, after a page turn. Averbeck's simple shapes are outlined in pastel, a coloring-book style nicely suited to the deadpan narration. After venturing as far afield as dinosaurs and fossils, Averbeck circles back around to his starting point with another blue egg, "which will not necessarily become a baby bird"--the page turn reveals a gangly, pop-eyed chick--"except if it does." Even very young readers will find they've succeeded in following a rather convoluted piece of reasoning, clause by clause and picture by picture; it's a book in which the action unfolds in the mind as much as it does on the page. Ages 2–6. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"Averbeck plays contrarian in this fun exercise that defies narrative assumption.... It’s a concept that starts cleverly and then, almost sneakily, warms the heart."

— BOOKLIST, December 1, 2010

"Averbeck (In a Blue Room) explores the idea of expectations in this short, sweet, philosophical speculation.... Even very young readers will find they've succeeded in following a rather convoluted piece of reasoning, clause by clause and picture by picture; it's a book in which the action unfolds in the mind as much as it does on the page."

—Publishers Weekly, November 22, 2010

"There’s a quiet tenderness to Averbeck’s prose that blends gracefully with the gentle humor of the bumbling critters and engages the audience in predicting the answer to “What comes next?”

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, January 2011

"With winsomely simple text and illustrations, this picture book is less a story than a convergence of fanciful possibilities.... Reminiscent of favorites like Mike Lester’s A Is for Salad (Putnam, 2000) and George Shannon’s Tomorrow’s Alphabet (Greenwillow, 1996), Except If is an entertaining, intriguing mental adventure."

-SLJ February 2011

"In this deceptively simple yet delightful tale, an egg is an egg. And that egg will become a baby bird … except if it becomes a baby snake instead.... Harkening back to Remy Charlip’s classic Fortunately (1964) and, more recently, to Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s First the Egg (2007), Averbeck proves that he, too, grasps the incredible power of the page turn.... The existential question posed holds huge potential for organized classroom exercise and solo flights of fancy alike. With heavy, smudgy lines, flat, muted tones and adorable creatures, Averbeck (In a Blue Room, 2008, illustrated by Tricia Tusa) makes his illustrative debut. All the while, he demonstrates that things are often what they seem … except if, of course, they are not."

- KIRKUS, December 15, 2010

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—With winsomely simple text and illustrations, this picture book is less a story than a convergence of fanciful possibilities. It begins with a large blue egg that's just beginning to crack: "An egg is not a baby bird." On the next page, the crack widens and an amorphous red face peeks out: "...but it will become one, except if...." When the small head becomes fully visible and reptilian, readers are led to believe, "it becomes a baby snake." But every time they think they know where they stand, another "except if" giddily overthrows their expectations. Reminiscent of favorites like Mike Lester's A Is for Salad (Putnam, 2000) and George Shannon's Tomorrow's Alphabet (Greenwillow, 1996), Except If is an entertaining, intriguing mental adventure.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Kirkus Reviews

In this deceptively simple yet delightful tale, an egg is an egg. And that egg will become a baby bird ...except ifit becomes a baby snake instead. And that baby snake will slither on the ground ...except ifit is actually a baby lizard. Harkening back to Remy Charlip's classicFortunately(1964) and, more recently, to Laura Vaccaro Seeger'sFirst the Egg(2007), Averbeck proves that he, too, grasps the incredible power of the page turn. Every time readers think the situation is set, two singular words—except if—change everything. Those two words are boldly placed on the center of each right-hand page, inviting narrators to stretch out the suspense. The existential question posed holds huge potential for organized classroom exercise and solo flights of fancy alike. With heavy, smudgy lines, flat, muted tones and adorable creatures, Averbeck (In a Blue Room,2008, illustrated by Tricia Tusa) makes his illustrative debut. All the while, he demonstrates that things are often what they seem ...except if, of course,they are not.(Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416995449
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 1/25/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,102,092
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Averbeck is the author of One Word from Sophia, illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail; In a Blue Room, illustrated by Tricia Tusa; and of the novel A Hitch at the Fairmont. He is also the author and illustrator of the picture books Oh No, Little Dragon! and Except If. He studied Children’s Book Writing and Illustration at the University of California Berkeley and now makes his home in San Francisco. You can visit him at JimAverbeck.com.

Jim Averbeck is the author of One Word from Sophia, illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail; In a Blue Room, illustrated by Tricia Tusa; and of the novel A Hitch at the Fairmont. He is also the author and illustrator of the picture books Oh No, Little Dragon! and Except If. He studied Children’s Book Writing and Illustration at the University of California Berkeley and now makes his home in San Francisco. You can visit him at JimAverbeck.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    New favorite kids Book!

    Bought this for my 2 year old, but my 5 year old loves it. It is everything a really great kids book should be -a little silly, a feel good, interesting, great picks, and not too wordy! Wish I could get it for my color Nook!

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