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Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel

Tikki Tikki Tembo (1968)

by Arlene Mosel, Blair Lent (Illustrator)

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3,2731382,529 (4.06)23

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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
A classic that I read as a young child. It's still a great tale with many lessons hidden inside. ( )
  cougargirl1967 | Mar 28, 2019 |
why tell a chinese folktale if u dont even care abt getting the chinese part rite?!? ( )
  alexanme | Dec 9, 2018 |
This is a fun book that brings a Chinese folklore into the classroom.
  KKoos | Dec 7, 2018 |
This book has a phrase, one of the child's name, that will stick with readers forever, and it tells an origin myth of why Chinese names are short today in a humorous way. ( )
  astrot2 | Oct 15, 2018 |
Summary: This story is based on the Chinese folktale on why children are given shorter names. This story is about two brothers who are playing near a well and the older one, Tikki Tikki Tembo falls in. In the book, Tikki Tikki Tembo is translated into a longer name which ends up being a problem when the brother runs for help. The long name takes too long to be pronounced to others to help his brother before he drowns. This story is the reason the Chinese myth came about, that children's names are now only one syllable long.

Personal summary: This story is great for children to learn more about Chinese folktales and see how different they are than ours.
  courtneytosto | Oct 1, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 138 (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 editionscalculated
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.

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