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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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2,4391112,533 (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

Work details

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel (1968)


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A great book for kids learning to read ( )
  Shadow494 | Jun 20, 2016 |
this is a fun and catchy book that two brothers, one with a long name and one with a short name, have troubles. The one with the long name falls in a well and the other brother runs and tries to tell people what happened but his brothers name is so long that he runs out of breath many times. Genre, not sure on this as it is an old book and can be contemporary realistic fiction or possibly informational. Media, water colors. ( )
  robe0605 | Apr 12, 2016 |
It's a story about a Chinese boy named Tikki Tikki Tembo-no Sa Rembo-chari Bari Ruchi-pip Peri Pembo. It talks about the tradition of giving first born son's long names and second born sons short names. Tikki Tikki Tembo and his brother Chang were playing in a well. Tikki falls in and his brother Chang must run to ask his mother for help, and then has to ask a man with a ladder for help. Since he had to say his brother's entire name, it took him so long to get help that by the time they rescued Tikki, it took him "many moons" to recover. That is why the Chinese give their children short names now.

Personal Reaction:
Entertaining story about a Chinese tradition.

Classroom Extensions:
1. Play a game where everyone adds a word onto a sentence to make a story and has to recite the entirety of the story before adding their word and see how long it takes for them to say all of it by the time many words have been added.
2. Add up all the names in the class to form one long name and have a race to see who can say it fastest.
3. Practice tongue-twisters and word games ( )
  ClaudiaNormand | Mar 24, 2016 |
I liked this book for two reasons: the language and the plot. The language was very funny mostly because of the boy’s name Tiki tiki tembo no sa rembo chari bari ruchi pip perri pembo; its long and very fun to say which makes the book more fun to read. The language was also very descriptive, creating a vivid picture as you read. For example, “there were glittering gateways and jeweled blossoms,” and “Chang ran as fast as his little legs would carry him,” both make it easy to visualize what’s going on in the story. I like the plot because it’s very suspenseful. When Chang fell in the well he was saved quickly with no problems. But when Tiki tiki tembo no sa rembo chari bari ruchi pip perri pembo fell in the well, it was hard to tell if her was going to be saved in time because of is long name. overall this is a very funny story. ( )
  MayaKenner | Mar 22, 2016 |
This Chinese folk tale has long been a favorite of mine. It is a delightful story of two brothers that love to play near an old well while their mother is busy washing in the river. Of course the mother has forbidden them to do so because of the danger, but they don't listen and the younger brother, Chang falls in. The older brother is able to run to his mother and quickly get help for his little brother. Many months later the two are up to their old ways again and this time the older brother, Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sar Rembo Chari Bari Ruchi Pip Peri Pembo, fHe finally succeeds in rescuing his brother, but because he has been in the water for so long there is quite a long recovery period for Tikki Tikki Tembo. The lesson at the end of this story is that short names are far preferred. The illustrations in this book are wonderful ink and wash drawings that convey the feeling of Chinese culture beautifully. The houses are depicted as traditional Chinese homes with thatched roofs, the clothing of the characters keeps in style with traditional Chinese dress as well. I also love the depictions of the traditional Chinese celebrations with dragons, and lanterns, and kites. This is a book that many readers will love.
  Keinhorn | Mar 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (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.

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added by MarthaJeanne | 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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First words
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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