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Tikki Tikki Tembo

Press: Paw Prints 2007-06-30 (June 30, 2007)
Author Name:Lent, Blair/ Mosel, Arlene


"Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-""chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo!" Three decades and more than one million copies later children still love hearing about the boy with the long name who fell down the well. 
Arlene Mosel and Blair Lent's classic re-creation of an ancient Chinese folktale has hooked legions of children, teachers, and parents, who return, generation after generation, to learn about the danger of having such an honorable name as Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo.

From Publishers Weekly

In this folktale, help is slow in coming when a Chinese boy falls into a well, since the boy's long and difficult name must be pronounced in full. 
Beautifully expressive drawings enhance the book's Oriental feel.
Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo is the full name of the firstborn son in the Chinese family of this story. 
As the firstborn's, his name must be spoken completely and reverently.
This old folktale of what happens when the boy falls into a well and his younger brother attempts to get help is nicely retold and should make excellent read-aloud material....Bright, active, and delightfully expressive."--"School Library Journal" "On spacious, uncluttered pages the artist has extended the story with wonderfully droll ink-and-wash drawings that combine imaginative beauty with a true Chinese spirit."--"The Horn Book"

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

The late Arlene Mosel first heard the story of TIKKI TIKKI TEMBO as a child. 
In 1968, its retelling became her first book for children.

From AudioFile

Marcia Gay Harden's reading will remind the parents of young listeners why Arlene Mosel's book has entertained since 1968. 
The engaging, instructive tale explains why the Chinese give their children short names.
When the honored older son of a Chinese mother falls into the well, his younger brother, Chang, runs for help.
But the older brother almost drowns because Chang has a hard time repeating his name: Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo.
The Asian music (complete with a gong to note page changes) and sounds of splashes create an almost-visual ambiance.
In the forefront are Marcia Gay Harden's spot-on characterizations and her wonderful playfulness with the drama of Tikki's ever-so-long name.
Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Children's Books,Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths,Multicultural

 PDF Download And Online Read: Tikki Tikki Tembo

Comment List (Total:13)

  •     wonderful book.

  •     I was a mystery reader for my grandson's 1st grade class. Tiki Tiki Tembo has been a beloved book in our home for 34 years. Nice to know children still love this book.

  •     Read this to my sons when they were little and now my grandchildren LOVE it; usually most requested book and they love saying Tikki Tikki Tembo's name.

  •     I loved this book since I first heard in Kindergarten...1990. My 5 year olds love it too. They ask for it every night.

  •     Best book from my childhood and my son loves as well! A must have for every home library!

  •     classic my nephew laughed at tikki tikki tembo full name

  •     My daughter absolutely loves this book. Why the lowish score then? The travesty that this book has befallen during its transition to kindle format. Whoever did the job over converting this needs to be fired asap. They have no reason to have this job, they are lazy and maybe will be better at flipping burgers but then again they will probably screw that up as well.On one page the paragraph ends mid sentence but you can just make something up. On another page the lines are messed up, line 3 is on line 2, etc. Once you realize the screw ups, you can read through the book easily, but why should you have to? I can't believe this hasn't been fixed as of yet. There are enough reviews stating these imperfection, does no one read them?Anyways, the book itself. as I said, my daughter (5) loves the book. She quickly (faster than I was able to) was able to memorize his name. She asked me write it down so she could memorize it and she did.

  •     Classic story

  •     was a favorite of mine since Captain Kangaroo...my little grandsons love it, too.

  •     In a nutshell: Tikki Tikki Tembo as retold by Arlene Mosel is a fabled Chinese fable about two little brothers. The oldest one is purportedly given a long impressive name meaning “The Most Wonderful Thing in the Whole Wide World” as he is to inherit his parents’ beloved possessions. His younger brother is considered some sort of back-up and is given a short name (Chang) which means “Little or Nothing” or Clueless Playmate or something. Wiki-the-source-of-all-truth-pedia, states that the book is controversial because it may be a Japanese story told about China and does not portray Chinese culture accurately. I plan to seek guidance from my Chinese family members on where this story lands on the offensiveness scale.So,the boys are monkeying around and Clueless Playmate falls into the well. Golden Boy runs to his mother and they get a ladder-wielding-tree-napping-old-man to save him named “Old Man With The Ladder.” He pumps the boy’s leg like a water pump to revive him which must be some sort of olden time CPR.Of course the little boys are monkeying around in the bathtub AGAIN, I mean near the well, despite the close brush with death and this time Golden Boy falls into the well. His brother runs for help and after repeating John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt four or five times, almost passes out from exhaustion, leaving his evil mother childless. Fortunately, Old Man With The Ladder comes to his senses and rescues Golden Boy with the same water pump CPR procedure.And the story concludes that this is why Chinese families name their kids little, short names.Families can talk about: How would you feel if your name meant Little or Nothing? Do you know what your name means? Why is the mom so mean and dismissive of the younger brother? Why don’t the little boys mind their mother? Do you mind your mother? How confident are you about that answer? What is your game plan if you fall into a well or deep water? What should you do? And if you see your brother fall in? Why do you think swimming lessons are important? Which is more fun to say: Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo or John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt?

  •     I think the author wanted people who read the book to come away with the idea that sometimes things that are perceived as good can do a lot of damage. She specifically talks about how having a favorite child can wind up hurting them in the end. The message could also be perceived as a warning about fame and the things it can get you into and having an "honorable name." This is a folktale picture book that has been around for three decades and was republished in 2012. It has a consistent Oriental feel. It won the Boston Globe Award in 1968. I think that this book has been so popular because it creates a lot of conversation as well as well is very intriguing and entertaining. The book was written by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blair Lent and is considered a retelling of the ancient Chinese folktale. At the surface, the book is supposed to illustrate why Chinese names are so short today, as told by an ancient myth. The book has actually created controversy among historians because while the book tells a Chinese folktale, the illustrations appear Japanese. There are also similar myths floating around Japan, so it's unclear on where the story actually came from. The author first heard the story as a young child and this is her retelling of it. The book is set in ancient China and starts out by explaining a tradition where the eldest soon receives an honorable, and therefore long, name and the other children were given short and meaningless names. You must say the elder children's name in full, you cannot use nicknames or abreviations. Chang (meaning little or nothing) the younger brother, falls into a well and his older brother is able to quickly explain what is happening to his mother and an Old man with his Ladder what has happened. They are able to rescue him and he was good as new. However, when the older brother Tikki Tikki Tembo-no Sa Rembo-chari Bari Ruchi-pip Peri Pembo (meaning the most wonderful thing in the whole wide world) fell into the well , Chang was not able to get help fast enough because he kept having to say and repeat the name without being able to abbreviate. Finally, they get the older brother out of the well but he is never the same, which is why the Chinese give all children short names. I would recommend this as cultural exposure to any young child. They are able to contemplate the Chinese names they've heard, as well as see some Oriental design. I think the book can be easily understood and the name is fun to chant, so it also makes for an entertaining read.

  •     An old book from my childhood and my grand daughter loves it and loves trying to say the name.

  •     I love the story of how the mom gives the oldest boy a long and the younger one a short name.


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