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Except If

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  626 ratings  ·  102 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, but unexp
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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  626 ratings  ·  102 reviews


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Shannon
Mar 23, 2011 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
Brenda Kahn
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
What an utterly delightful, sweetly simple yet unpredictable story.
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Will engage the imagination of children with playful illustrations.
Mary Ann
Jul 31, 2011 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
Melissa
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 motivation...it's all here.
Deb
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-alena
Cute book. It's the favorite of the ones I read to Alena today. I like the illustrations and how the story comes full circle.
Tegan
Really cute story about what is inside of an egg. The kids really enjoyed guessing.
Sadia Mansoor
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Quite different concept! I am amazed how writers come up with such new & different topics for every other book :O
Do read this book except if you choose some other book to read today ;)
Klaudia Janek
Aug 29, 2013 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
Tasha
Nov 26, 2010 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 rea
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Amitha
Dec 02, 2012 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
Lauren Fogg
Jan 31, 2013 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
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Emma Apple
Jul 22, 2015 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
Barbara
May 31, 2011 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
Diane
Apr 13, 2011 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
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carissa
"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

Melissa Elgersma
Jul 02, 2011 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
babyhippoface
Dec 10, 2010 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 pr
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Laura
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, children-s, 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.
Christy
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
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.
Tricia
Feb 26, 2011 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 if...it'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.
Rachel
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.
Portable
This is a fantastic book for getting children thinking about possibilities. An egg will hatch into a bird, except if it hatches into something else. A lizard is a lizard, except if it's a dinosaur, and a dinosaur is a dinosaur, except if it's a fossil. Brilliant for thinking, talking and reflecting on the IB concepts of Form and Change.
Sarah
Feb 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
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.
Katelyn Patterson
Jun 21, 2016 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."
BlackhamBoys
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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*
Danie P.
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Kim
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Megan
Jan 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kindergarten-3rd grade
Show a kid an egg in a nest and he will probably assume it is a bird's egg. Averbeck's book takes first assumptions like that and shows how they aren't necessarily true. Interesting, but better executed in Mac Barnett's Guess Again.
Kristina Jean Lareau
This books is an example of a perfectly constructed picturebook. There is surprise and whimsy, a narrative and humor. It is perfectly circular with a hint of evolution all backed by simple, yet artfully rendered oil and watercolor illustrations.

Magnificent.
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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.
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