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except if

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  471 Ratings  ·  86 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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(showing 1-30 of 702)
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Mar 23, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
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
May 20, 2011 babyhippoface rated it liked it
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.
Emma Apple
Jul 22, 2015 Emma Apple rated it really liked it
This is another story that takes you to an unexpected place in an unexpected way. This time we are presented with an egg and taken through a series of suggestions about what the egg could be (except if it’s… something else). We go through snake, lizard, dinosaur, fossil, and so on, until finally it ends up being a bird (of course). Like the twist that I didn’t give away in In A Blue Room, you don’t realize where you’re going until you’re there, when you’re there it all falls into place. It makes ...more
Feb 25, 2011 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Jan 06, 2014 Klaudia Janek rated it really liked it
Shelves: libres
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
Jul 31, 2011 Mary Ann rated it really liked it
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
Katelyn Patterson
Jun 21, 2016 Katelyn Patterson rated it really liked it
Published: 2011
picture book

An egg is not a baby bird but it will be come one... except if it becomes a baby snake. Cute little book about how things may not be exactly as they seem. This would probably be fun in storytime with all of the twists and turns it takes. But in the end we come back to the egg... "which will not necessarily become a baby bird... except if it does."
Oct 04, 2015 Siskiyou-Suzy rated it did not like it
Books like Except If are hard to review because even though I can't pinpoint anything specifically wrong with it, I don't like it very much.

The illustrations aren't my style -- too cartoony, I suppose. And I wasn't that charmed by the progression. I sort of thought the kids would at least find it funny to be surprised, but they didn't. So it's not funny, and it's not educational, and it's not that enjoyable to look at. I do see how it could be useful to show kids that they can't always predict w
Dec 02, 2012 Amitha rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 10, 2011 Steve H rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Jul 24, 2015 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Really liked it up until the dinosaur/fossil page, which I though was a hard left turn in the logic of the story that might go over the heads of your average preschooler.

The art is adorable. This still might work in an egg/hatching/spring type storytime.
Lauren Fogg
Jan 31, 2013 Lauren Fogg rated it really liked it
Shelves: pattern-books
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
Oct 18, 2014 kim rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, kids, picture
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
Apr 07, 2014 Shawn Thrasher rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 13, 2011 Diane rated it really liked it
"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
May 31, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: ncbla
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
May 03, 2016 Nathan rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
I think there are better options in this genre.
Jan 24, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it
I love the simple illustrations and text.
Apr 02, 2015 Fred rated it liked it
Comique! Une belle histoire sur la répétition!
Melissa Elgersma
Jul 02, 2011 Melissa Elgersma rated it really liked it
Shelves: preschoolers
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
Oct 07, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
Word choice.
"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

Oct 08, 2011 Tam rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really enjoyed this book and the concept of it, and planned to use it at my Egg Preschool DiscoveryTime (though it would also be great for a Toddler storytime; didn't arrive in time unfortunately). It's all about an egg hatching and the possibilities about what could be hatching from it. For example, it could be a bird except if it is a baby snake, etc etc. My son loved this book. Recommended for ages 2-6, 4 stars.
Feb 26, 2011 Tricia rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 11, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, 2011, picture
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.
Feb 04, 2014 Lynne rated it it was amazing
This book even had me thinking.
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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
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