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Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel

Tikki Tikki Tembo (original 1968; edition 2007)

by Arlene Mosel, Blair Lent (Illustrator), Arlene Mosel (Author)

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2,290952,779 (4.1)21
Title:Tikki Tikki Tembo
Authors:Arlene Mosel
Other authors:Blair Lent (Illustrator), Arlene Mosel (Author)
Info:Square Fish (2007), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 48 pages
Collections:fantasy, fiction, picture books
Tags:First Name, traditions, culture

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Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel (1968)


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Great story about an old land and their unusual ways. ( )
  Blaire_Stewart | Nov 16, 2015 |
In my opinion, this is a very interesting book. I thought that the writing flowed very well, and I appreciated the parallels between each brother’s fall down the well. The similarities and differences, and how they are explained, is incredibly fun to young readers because it’s repetitive and predictable in an easy to understand way. I appreciated the traditional and historical accuracy of the illustrations, and thought they created a very accurate representation of the story. Although the illustrations do not feature many colors, are not necessarily intricate or extremely detailed, they make sense for the time in which the story is set. Additionally, I liked that the story was a “moral,” or a “folktale,” explaining why Chinese names are typically short, which is most definitely the big idea of the story. This was a fun, interesting read, which truly had me laughing as the second brother attempted to say (and, subsequently butchered) Tikki Tikki Tembo’s full name. ( )
  mkatz9 | Nov 8, 2015 |
This is a children's folktale about two brothers and the first born, the honored son, gets a very long name and the second born a very short name. The mother believes the first born son is more important. The younger boy fell into the well and his brother Tikki Tikki Tembo with the long name has to run and get help. The same thing happens to happen to Tikki Tikki Tembo. It took even longer for Chong to get his mother's attention because his name is so long and complicated and that of the old man with the ladder who had helped get Chong out of the well. He finally gets help but Tikki Tikki Tembo was there so long he was sick for a long time. That is why the Chinese usually give their children short names instead of long ones. The illustrations are drawn in ink and colored in with water colors. The colors are pretty dull and only a few different colors are used. Teachers could use this book to talk about names, favoritism, or what folktales are. Teachers could have students write their own folktales about how they got their names. ( )
  cpaavola | Nov 7, 2015 |
Tikki Tikki Tembo faces grave danger due to his long name. This is the folktale of why the Chinese give their children "little short names instead of great long names."
  Stephanie_Addison | Oct 21, 2015 |
29 month - (published 1968) Although disliked by the Chinese as inaccurate and making fun of their language (the child's name is gibberish and doesn't represent Chinese in any way and is actually based on a Japanese folk tale) it is still a fun read. I think O enjoys just listening to her parents stumble through the many readings of the boy's excessively long name. ( )
  maddiemoof | Oct 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
I hope that people realize that "Tikki Tikki Tembo" contains very INCORRECT information about Chinese culture...What's even more disturbing is that the introduction written inside the book jacket made the story sound like a real folklore.

Below the review is a discussion of both the review and the book.
added by cej1027 | editChild_Lit, Shwu-yi Leu (Oct 2, 1998)

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arlene Moselprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lent, BlairIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Once, upon a time, a long, long time ago, it was the custom of all the fathers and mothers in China to give their first and honored sons great long long names.
Her second son she called Chang, which meant "little or nothing." But her first and honored son, she called Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo, which meant "the most wonderful thing in the whole wide world!"
"Unfortunate Son, surely the evil spirits have bewitched your tongue. Speak your brother's name with reverence."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312367481, Paperback)

If you haven't already read Tikki Tikki Tembo, you've probably heard at least someone recite the deliriously long name of its protagonist: Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo, by now a famous refrain in most nursery schools. In this beautiful edition--complete with line and wash illustrations by artist Blair Lent--Arlene Mosel retells an old Chinese folktale about how the people of China came to give their children short names after traditionally giving their "first and honored" sons grand, long names. Tikki tikki tembo (which means "the most wonderful thing in the whole wide world") and his brother Chang (which means "little or nothing") get into trouble with a well, are saved by the Old Man with the Ladder, and change history while they're at it. Tikki Tikki Tembo is a perfect book to read aloud, but don't be surprised if you find yourself joining the ranks of its chanting followers. (Picture book)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:03 -0400)

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When the eldest son fell in the well and most of the time getting help was spent pronouncing the name of the one in trouble, the Chinese, according to legend, decided to give all their children short names.

(summary from another edition)

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