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except if

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  373 ratings  ·  79 reviews
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, bu
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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I love this book because I have more than a few know-it-all kids who always think they have everything figured out, and when I read it to them, if they predicted (right or wrong) their classmates spoke up and said, "Predicting is a good strategy, but I don't think you're doing it to improve your reading. Please don't spoil the story." We also discussed it's similarities to the cumulative books we've read lately and that the Caldecott folks seem to love a good cumulative story (Joseph Had a Littl ...more
Really like the way he takes an illustration and situation you think you understand and turns it into something else, which happens at the beginning (you think it's a baby bird, "except if" it's a snake, then you think it's a snake, "except if" it's a lizard). Not so thrilled with the "except if"s that arent' possible (lizard turning into a dinosaur). The ending is a predictable, but it's nice. It works.

Curriculum Connection: This would be great to inspire creative writing/drawing projects in Mi
This was born to be an early-literacy-skill-building book! Repeated text and large print for print awareness, fosters predicting for narrative skills, nice vocabulary, fun idea plus dinosaurs for print's all here.
Follow this twisting, turning puzzle of a book that has you thinking one thing and then transforming it into another. It all starts with an egg that is cracking open. It will become a bird “except if” it becomes a baby snake. That snake will slither on the floor “except if” it is actually a lizard. The lizard is actually a dinosaur, which is actually a fossil, which shelters a nest, where a familiar blue egg is resting. What will be in the egg this time?

This book is pure fun. The reader puts the
Klaudia Janek
Highly Recommended[return][return]The story starts off with an egg. Readers will assume it is a bird egg and then everything changes with the words “except if.” The story goes from a bird, to a snake, to a lizard, dinosaur, to a fossil to a cliff that holds an egg. The reader will come full circle to a bird. [return]This book will entertain children from preschool to 1st grade. The pictures are cute pastel and watercolor illustrations. They are simple pictures, but with small details that will e ...more
Mary Ann
It all starts with an egg, a big blue egg. "An egg is not a baby bird, / but it will become one / except if..." Turn the page and you see a tiny red snake emerging from the egg. Oh, yes, you think to yourself. Snakes hatch from eggs, too! Using this twisting pattern, Averbeck leads readers from one "gotcha" moment to the next. A snake? Well, except if it's a dinosaur. You'll think for sure the drawing is one thing - only to turn the page and find out it's really something different! It may seem ...more
This story was a big hit with Toddler Monkey, because it coincidentally features one of her new favorite words "except" (though she likes to say "except of" instead of "except if," as in, "Everyone loves spinach, except of me!") The book reads as a kind of exploration of the imagination. What could possibly come out of an egg? What might this snake also look like? The book also includes a dinosaur and fossils, which are a topic of great fascination right now. "What happened to the dinosaurs? Wha ...more
Steve H
Which came first, the snake, the lizard, the dinosaur, or the egg? That's not exactly the gist of this creative picture book, but it's the meta-topic. Basically a two page spread shows something but you turn the page and find out that what you thought was happening would be true "except if" something different were true (as revealed on the following pages). It's good to teach kids the meaning of the letters "except if," which appear on almost every page. However, if the reader has any sort of tr ...more
Lauren Fogg
This is a short story with limited text that follows the "except if" pattern. In the beginning the reader sees the egg which "is not a baby bird, but it will become one, except if" it becomes something else. Each page presents another idea which ends up being something other than the original idea. It is an enjoyable book that leaves the reader with a small surprise at the end.

Averbeck brings the imagination to life with his illustrations which appear to be drawn by crayon which add to the play
got this off a read-aloud hit list - story is pretty creative, good in an educational predictive way, except I don't like the unrealistic dinosaur/fossil/etc turn. not super in love with the illustrations either.
Maggie KutsBorg
Clever, but some of the transitions don't make sense. It seems to have storytime potential but I would need to see someone else read it first since I don't really know intuitively what to do with it.
Shawn Thrasher
An easy, fun read-aloud with big, bright pictures and a cute, humorous (but not cloyingly so) circular plot. Anything with a big pink(ish) dinosaur is tops in my book.
The Styling Librarian
Except If by Jim Averbeck – One of those stretch your mind books, love when I have these to share and compare. Fabulous illustrations.
Marvelous idea, and most kids will love it. Unfortunately it proved vulnerable to my pet peeve - bad science. Dinosaurs are actually more like birds than like lizards, so the sequence is, though phenotypically sensible, not genotypically, too bad.

For an even better, and funnier, execution of the idea of turning the page to find something unpredictable, try Mac Barnett's Guess Again!.
"Except If, a new childrens book for 2011 by Jim Averbeck, is a story that starts out with a big blue egg which is about to hatch. At the beginning, it appears that a baby bird will soon hatch. On the pages that follow the story follows the .....

"An egg is not a baby bird, but will become one EXCEPT IF......

The children get to use their imagination...will it be a bird, a snake, a lizard or something else?
This seems like this would make a good, group story hour read for library tot groups to enjo
In this imaginative picture book, readers are asked to imagine the possibilities if things that are expected turn out not to be what they expect. The text and illustrations begin with an egg that might turn into a baby bird and then end with a bird in a nest. It's all great fun and prompts a lot of pondering of the things that are possible if we don't limit ourselves to what is already expected. The simple watercolor and oil illustrations suit the text well and are likely to prompt some interest ...more
Melissa Elgersma
Young children are naturally curious, especially about animals and dinosaurs. This book opens on a large, blue egg with a single crack. The story begins, "An egg is not a baby bird, but will become one except if. . ." The reader is led down a winding road of possibilities. It can be tough to find fun, engaging science books for very young children. With his simple illustrations and clever text, Averbeck will earn points with parents, teachers, and librarians for introducing children to the many ...more
"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." - review from product

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was drawn to this title as having excellent potential for a preschool audience to keep them guessing and gasping (my girls literally gasped!). I will definitely incorporate this book into a storytime as soon as I have a gig. An egg hatches...and appears to be one thing...except's not! It is fun to encourage children to stretch their imaginations and see the possibilities that things may not be as they initially appear.
An interesting little book about what things might actually be. "An egg is not a baby bird, but it will become one/except if/it becomes a baby snake. And so the story progress until it comes full circle to another egg. Curious children will enjoy considering what each thing is and what it could become. A great book for younger children who are ready to think about creative, flexible thinking.
This book even had me thinking.
Danie P.
Toddler's might not understand the "except if" concept yet but they will enjoy the bright colors and the flow of the story told by the pictures. Preschooler that always ask "what if" will delight in this book about an egg that hatches that might be a chicken, except if it is a snake, that will slither, except if it is a lizard it will walk and so on. Great for a storytime focusing on imagination.
This would make a fun read aloud, except if your kids were noisy, which could be fun, except if they get confused. But then the illustrations might help clarify them, except if you have a LOT of kids. Unless you are good at sharing picture books. Sorry the book makes me want to write/think like it, except if it might annoy people.
Love this book! I think kids can really get into a good cause and effect book. Also, this book is a good alternative if you're sick of bunnies in your spring time storytime or you don't want to learn 100 'o-saurus names for a dinosaur storytime. Cute, shorter than a "Give a Mouse" book with a better result for preschoolers.
Cute little story ... kept the kids (and me) guessing. Always fun when there is a bit of repetition (the kids start to recognize the words "except if" and read along) ... and then it's just fun how it ends exactly how you would have expected it to start (but then it would have been a much shorter book) *Ü*
Sam Bloom
Cute and clever second titles from my boy from Delhi, Jim Averbeck. This one has preschool read-aloud written all over it. The combination of text and illustration continuously throws off the young reader in much the same way that Laura Vacarro Seeger does in her books (especially First the Egg).
Not exactly a great story, but readers will definitely leave the book knowing what "except if" means! Very short text on each page and clear illustrations of what is happening in the text make this a good book for ELLs. They may be puzzled over what the story is about. I know I was.
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I was born and raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio, a beautiful city built, like Rome, on seven hills-wooded hills of oak, walnut, and maple where I and my childhood imagination ran wild.

I enjoy throwing myself into situations which give me an opportunity to explore and grow. I joined the Peace Corps in my late twenties and went to live in Cameroon in western Africa for almost four years. I
More about Jim Averbeck...
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