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Except When They Don't (Board book)

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Except When They Don't By Laura Gehl, Joshua Heinsz (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Laura Gehl, Joshua Heinsz (Illustrator)
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Staff Reviews

A fun and thoughtful way to encourage all kids to try anything that sparks their interest. Energetic and joyful!

— Jamie


Now available in board book! This rhyming book encourages children to celebrate their individuality and lets them know that it's okay to play with whatever toys they want to!

"This book encourages kids to practice self-acceptance and embrace all kinds of play in a lighthearted and cheerful way." --School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Girls perform to fairy songs.
Boys play football all day long.

Boys yell, "Boo!" and run away.
Girls like kittens and ballet.

Except when they don't.

Children are often told by many different people about what toys they're supposed to play with, what interests they should have, and who they should be simply because of their gender. This stereotype-breaking book invites children to examine what they're told "boy" and "girl" activities are and encourages them to play with whatever they want to and to be exactly who they are! This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.

About the Author

Laura Gehl is the author of One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, and the Peep and Egg series, illustrated by Joyce Wan. Laura lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with her husband and four children. Find out more about her at

Joshua Heinsz is the illustrator of A Paintbrush for Paco. He has a love for bright and whimsical imagery with a flair for the fantastical and an air of nostalgia. When not drawing or painting, Joshua can be found working as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. He currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. See more of his work at

Product Details
ISBN: 9781499814415
ISBN-10: 1499814410
Publisher: little bee books
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2023
Pages: 26
Language: English