Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel

Tikki Tikki Tembo (original 1968; edition 2007)

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,4811102,462 (4.09)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)

Recently added byKunmingERC, stwenctest, bbicknell, private library, JanetVal, MontagueES, AnnaB113, Mihrai, iles, MrsCollier

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 21 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
This was one of my favorite picture books growing up. The story explains the old Chinese tradition of giving the first and honored son a very long name and why it was abolished. The book is a fun one to read and listen to because of the son's name.
  CindyNeils | Jul 29, 2016 |
Supported with illustrations in bright blues, greens and yellows the reader learns the dangers of having too long of a name. This picture book retells a popular Chinese folktale of two mischievous brothers. The first son is given a long name of Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo which meant “the most wonderful thing in the whole world!” the second son is simply named Chang. The mom warns the two boys to not play near the well but they do not listen. First, Chang falls into the well. Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo runs to tell his mother who tells him to go to the old man and Chang is easily saved. Several months later, Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo falls into the well and due to the length of his name it takes longer to for the adults to help. It takes a long time for Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo to recover but Chinese parents have learned an important lesson to give all children short names instead of great long names. ( )
  trippd | Jul 10, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (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.

(URL missing because it had been changed by a spammer.)
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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

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)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
150 wanted1 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.09)
1 1
1.5 1
2 18
2.5 4
3 55
3.5 6
4 114
4.5 5
5 133


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 108,402,308 books! | Top bar: Always visible