Preschool Storytime Ideas
Rebus books can help emergent readers with decoding techniques, by encouraging children to “read” the small picture that is in place of a word. Include one rebus book every so often in your storytimes; or for a special occasion, do an all-rebus storytime to show parents the importance of these books.
Sometimes rebus books can be too small to read to a group, so try showing the pictures using a projector of some sort. For a hands-on activity, have children make rebus pictures of their own.
Capucilli, Alyssa S. INSIDE A HOUSE THAT IS HAUNTED. INSIDE A BARN IN THE COUNTRY. INSIDE A ZOO IN THE CITY. In this series of cumulative stories with rebus elements, the animal inhabitants describe their surroundings.
Carle, Eric. THE SECRET BIRTHDAY MESSAGE. Tim receives a message written in a code of symbols in this delightful picture book.
Christensen, Bonnie. REBUS RIOT. Read a few poems from this collection of humorous verse illustrated with rebus pictures.
Cocca-Leffler, Maryann. SILLY WILLY. In this easy reader, a boy puts on his clothes in an odd way, like wearing his pants on his head!
Edwards, Roberta. SPACE KID. An alien boy describes his typical day.
Hillenbrand, Will. MOTHER GOOSE PUZZLE PICTURES. Twenty Mother Goose rhymes are illustrated with imaginative rebuses.
Isadora, Rachel. THERE WAS A TREE. This version of the song Green Grass Grows All Around is illustrated with striking cut paper illustrations using rebus icons for repeated words.
Lewis, J. Patrick. THE FANTASTIC 5 & 10 CENT STORE. Benny Penny checks out the new store in town in this rhyming story.
Marzollo, Jean. I LOVE YOU: A REBUS POEM. With cartoon illustrations by Suse Macdonald, this would be great for Valentine’s Day, as it expresses a parent’s love for a child.
Neitzel, Shirley. THE JACKET I WEAR IN THE SNOW. THE BAG I’M TAKING TO GRANDMA’S. THE DRESS I’LL WEAR TO THE PARTY. WE’RE MAKING BREAKFAST FOR MOTHER. OUR CLASS TOOK A TRIP TO THE ZOO. I’M TAKING A TRIP ON MY TRAIN. THE HOUSE I’LL BUILT FOR THE WRENS. I’M NOT FEELING WELL TODAY. In this series of popular picture books illustrated by Nancy Winslow Parker, a rhyming cumulative text and the rebus illustrations make for a storytime hit.
Sierra, Judy. WE LOVE OUR SCHOOL! A rhyming text and rebus-laden pictures follow a group of animals on their first day at school.
Wardlaw, Lee. THE CHAIR WHERE BEAR SITS. In this cumulative tale, a bear sits in his high chair as a tray, bowl, cup, and other items are added.