Kirkus Reviews QR Code
EXCEPT IF by Jim Averbeck


by Jim Averbeck & illustrated by Jim Averbeck

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4169-9544-9
Publisher: Atheneum

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. And that baby snake will slither on the ground … except if it is actually a baby lizard. 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. 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)