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Tikki Tikki Tembo
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$5.89+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on December 5, 2014
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?
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on May 9, 2017
A nice story about 2 brother's and Tiki Tiki Tembo is short for his name in the book. He also falls in a well and tried to tell his mom but was out of breath from repeating his very long name. This book is a classic. Any questions please ask and helpful votes are much appreciated, thank you.
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Top Contributor: Petson December 12, 2016
When I was a child I loved this book so I knew I had to purchase it to read to my children. My daughter has memorized Tikki Tikki's full name and enjoys reciting it with me. This is a classic book! The moral of the story may be a little politically incorrect these days but I don't dwell on that part and if a parent wanted to, they can skip that last page. It's such a fun book to read.
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on March 6, 2015
I read this as a child growing up, it was my favorite book. Of course like most people as you get older you throw away or get rid of things from your childhood and teenage days. When my niece started kindergarten I knew reading was going to be required and i wanted to share with her my favorite story from childhood, so i purchased this book to read to her and hope she will appreciate it as much as i did. Well needless to say she does share my appreciation or enjoyment of this book, but it matters not because i still enjoy this book as an adult.
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on April 19, 2014
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.
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on March 7, 2018
We are a homeschooling family and needed this book to go along with our curriculum!
we love this book!! I really like exposing my kids to other cultures and ideas and this book is perfect for that!

Also arrived fast in perfect condition and a great price!
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on June 29, 2016
This is my favorite book that use to be read to me when I was in Crook County Elementary School as a third grader. For their Smart reading program. An older women named Mrs. Woodward would read it to me to help me through my struggles. I miss her very much.
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on September 25, 2017
I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this book... It's like tikki tikki tembo no sarembo Chari bari roochi pip Perry pembo and other books are Chang
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on December 2, 2016
This was my favorite book when I was growing up. I would read it in class. I would bring it home for the weekend and read it to my mom. I would have my brother read it to me. I would read it to "Mr Rabbit". I love this book. It transports me to that small village. It reminds me of home and it smells like the ocean. I purchased this for my nephew.
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on February 13, 2016
I love the alliteration and musical sound of reading this aloud. And usually I'm not too worried about extreme scariness in a kids book (In the Night Kitchen for example), but the idea of a kid falling down a well and a mother not caring kind of worries me. Have reservations. That said, the books been around and beloved by children for a very very long am probably just being a cranky grandma!
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