I Like to Read Picture Book Series

Cindy and Lynn:  One of the interesting and exciting developments in the book world has been the recent efforts to publish more quality books for emergent and newly independent readers. There is a real need for these!   So we are excited to tell you about a new series from Holiday House called I Like to Read.  These books are picture books with a big difference – picture books designed to be read by the emergent reader.  They feature short clear texts with bright attractive illustrations that support comprehension.  They utilize familiar vocabulary, high frequency words, repetition and words that are easily decodable.  They’ve also been assigned guided reading levels on the Founts and Pinnell system for those that need that.


Holiday House generously sent us the entire series to review and we were impressed with the books.  Sturdy hard covers, bright engaging illustrations and interesting stories with plenty of humor make these extremely appealing and the attention to the skill levels of the young readers is excellent.  But we decided to put these to the ultimate challenge – a classroom full of first graders!  Lynn volunteers every week with a first grade classroom in one of our elementary schools and the talented young teacher there was eager to help us give these a trial run.

We are happy to say that the books were a huge hit.  Here is our biggest focus group yet, holding up the books they read for us.

They did more than read the books though.  They wrote reviews and we are happy to share some of those next.  Thanks SO much to Mrs. Alferink and her wonderful first grade reviewers.   They ROCK!

Mason, like most of her classmates. thought her book was “Osum!” And we love her drawing of the main characters of David McPhail’s book Boy, Bird and Dog.

Holiday Boy Bird and Dog review Holiday Boy Bird and Dog











Deborah read I Will Try by Marilyn Janovitz and wrote one of the longest reviews and she notes that she appreciated how hard Janovitz worked to make the book. <3

Holiday I Will Try reviewHoliday I Will Try









Holiday Mice on Ice review

Holiday House Mice on Ice





Oscar thought the Emberley’s Mice on Ice was “cool.” How appropriate! And, as was a common theme in the reviews, he wished the book would have “a dog and a rabbit.” Many of the reviews suggested more dogs or more critters. Keep the animals coming, guys!


Holiday Dinosaurs Don't Review


Holiday Dinosaurs Don't


See…Jacquelin wants more critters too! We just love her detailed swing set drawing!








We wish we could post all of the student reviews, but you get the idea. You can click on the links for some of the books to read the Booklist review for those titles. As a final summation though, you can’t beat this high praise for Car Goes Far by Michael Garland….and that’s “awesomesauce” for those of you who don’t speak fluent first grade! We think it applies to this whole series. Watch for more I Like to Read books from Holiday House. We’ve donated this set to Mrs. Alferink and her students at West Ottawa Public Schools in Holland, MI for helping us out. They are awesomesauce as well!

Holiday Car Goes Far reviewHoliday Car Goes Far



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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