With or Without

Children - Adventure
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 11/02/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Barbara Fanson for Readers' Favorite

With or Without is a humorous comparison of life with or without certain items. Author Michelle Panek has created a rhyming story of opposites. How would you feel if you had something and then it was gone? Or what if you enjoy seeing something and then it was missing? With or Without by Michelle Panek reminds us to appreciate the small things in life because they could disappear. Michelle and Olivia are two girls who play a game of guessing what it would be like if you didn’t have something. In the end, they’re just glad to have each other. For example, what would it be like if you didn’t have mittens in the winter or what if there were no airplanes?

Illustrator Kalpart has created simple but wonderful artwork for this children's picture book. I love how the illustrations include a hilarious cartoon cat or dog in humorous positions to add a bit of fun to the pages. I would buy this book for the three-dimensional, fun cartoon images, which complement the rhyming words. I think children will enjoy looking at the pictures to find out what’s unusual—perhaps a cat standing on two legs instead of four. Author Michelle Panek has written a wonderful short story that teachers, parents, and storytellers will enjoy sharing with young children. When parents read this book with children, they could add an interactive component by making children guess what the opposite would be. Find out why With or Without, we still have each other.

Kristen Van Kampen (Teen Reviewer)

With or Without by Michelle Panek is a creative, rhyming children's book about two young girls named Olivia and Michelle. The two girls are best friends, and one day, the two friends are hanging out with their dog and cat when they decide to play a game that they called 'with or without.' The two friends imagine life with and without certain things, like a cell phone, a school, a bubble bath, and even things as simple as mittens. They take turns acting out and talking about and imagining life without many things that people usually take for granted. What else will they think of in their game of with or without?

I really enjoyed reading With or Without by Michelle Panek. The book is very well written and the rhyming of the story is well done. The story is creative and imaginative, and the author clearly put a lot of effort into thinking of life without certain things. The book has some funny parts and funny pictures. The book teaches us that we shouldn't take things for granted. The two girls in this story are very likeable, because they are imaginative and smart. The book will get the reader thinking about life with and without their favourite things. The pictures, by Kalpart, are amazingly drawn and clearly depict each scene. I like how there was a dog or a cat on every page, demonstrating life with and without. This book is a fun read, with great pictures and great writing, and so I would definitely recommend this book to all young readers.

Jack Magnus

With or Without is a children’s adventure picture book written by Michelle Panek with illustrations by Kalpart. Olivia and Michelle are best friends. They’re alike in a lot of ways, but they're also different and have separate personalities. For one thing, Michelle wears glasses that help her see things clearly. Without her glasses? She thinks she’d probably “fall on her nose.” The two girls have a lot of fun thinking about what-if scenarios. Some are serious, such as going to school as opposed to not being a student. Others make a lot of sense. Taking baths, wearing shoes, using airplanes for travel and wearing mittens when building a snowman are just a few of the situations Olivia and Michelle consider when thinking in terms of With or Without.

Michelle Panek’s adventure picture book for children, With or Without, is a humorous and engaging collection of situations where being with or without can make a big difference. Kalpart’s illustrations are brightly colored and funny, and each panel works quite well with the often zany story line. Some scenarios will help teach children about grooming and health, while others are just plain fun and silly. With or Without is an excellent choice for story time, but it will work even better as a primer for new readers. The words used work quite well with the illustrations, and the font is large, with a simple vocabulary that is apt to build confidence in new reading skills. With or Without is highly recommended.

Alyssa Elmore

Olivia's sister questions every little thing, but Olivia is happy-go-lucky. Olivia likes to eat fruits and greens, Michelle would rather NOT. Explore actions and consequences in Michelle Panek's illustrated children's book, With Or Without. When sisters Olivia and Michelle play a game of With or Without, they may get pretty silly, but they also learn the importance of eating healthy foods, an active lifestyle, and taking care of their bodies. They also imagine life without school, love, books, and even their friends. The girls quickly decide that they appreciate their lives with the wonderful and funny stuff in it. Do you ever wonder what life would be like without stars in the sky, a bed, or light? Maybe you should play a game of with or without too!

With Or Without by Michelle Panek is a charmingly fun look into the sometimes overly extreme world of two close sisters. Michelle and Olivia may be sisters, but they are about as opposite as two sisters can be! One has a cat, the other a dog; one has wild hair, the other keeps hers very neat. I loved this book! The illustrations are humorous and popping with colors, and some of the things they say and do are laugh-out-loud funny. The book brought back great memories of growing up with my two sisters, who are also complete opposites to me. This book is excellent for sisters that may feel at odds with each other from time to time, as its humor should help ease the tension between two arguing sisters. I appreciated that the story was written from a positive viewpoint on sisterhood. There have been books that seem to encourage fighting between siblings. This book does not. Its bright colors, lively dialogue, and all-round good humor promote love and laughter between sisters. I would recommend this book to girls aged seven to fourteen as it seems to apply to a wide range of ages.

Donna Brooks