Except When They Don’t

little bee books. May 2019. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781499808049.
PreS-Gr 2–Gehl narrates methods of play that are typically associated with a gender, such as girls dressing up like princesses and boys building spaceships out of blocks. She addresses these notions of preconceived gender roles with the simple but powerful phrase, “Except when they don’t.” The activities are illustrated with images of merry children while they amuse themselves with various toys and costumes. The pictures in this book include a variety of children whom all appear abundantly gleeful. This book is packed with color and patterns that seem to swirl and blast from the page. The abundance of color and movement adds elements of excitement and fantasy to scenes. This book has a rhyming style which adds a lively flow to the narrative. The text appears to hover over the images it is describing and pairs well with this book’s often busy and bustling artwork.
VERDICT This book encourages kids to practice self-acceptance and embrace all kinds of play in a lighthearted and cheerful way. 

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