Written and illustrated by Jim Averbeck
This beautiful and surprising book is really a lesson in not taking things at face value. When the reader encounters a blue egg, she might expect to see a bird emerge EXCEPT IF the egg contains a baby snake. The snake slithers along EXCEPT IF it’s really a baby lizard, complete with legs. The lizard can scurry up walls EXCEPT IF it grows into a dinosaur. And the dinosaur will stand as tall as the hills EXCEPT IF it’s already a fossil, a craggy hill that shelters a nest. With an egg.
The repetitive nature of the text is a good draw for first graders, who love to anticipate. The fun illustrations make it a good candidate for a read aloud, with the listeners guessing what the next exception will be. All this combines to increase comprehension of the story line and literacy skills.
The author’s website, http://www.jimaverbeckbooks.com/, contains a tremendous amount of information about the author and his books. The publisher also highlights the author at http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Jim-Averbeck/65519797.
- Title: Except If
- Author/Illustrator: Jim Averbeck
- Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster, 2011
- Reviewer: Sue Poduska
- Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
- Genre: Picture book, Imagination
- ISBN: 978-1-4169-9544-9