Picture Book Review: Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel

Tikki Tikki TemboTitle: Tikki Tikki Tembo

Author: Arlene Mosel

Illustrator: Blair Lent

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co

Release Date: 1968

Book Summary

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. 


Tikki Tikki Tembo is the winner of the 1968 Boston Globe – Horn Book Award for Picture Books.


Tikki Tikki Tembo is a book I recall my mom reading when I was a little girl. I remember listening to her read his name, and thinking how cool it was with it’s own rhythm, and fun sounds. My sister and I would try and remember his name and repeat it all day long trying not to mess up.
Over the years, I completely forgot about this book, until I was at the library with my kids one day, and there it was, sticking out of the shelf, waiting for me. Normally I only let the girls pick 1-2 books each, so we don’t lose any, but I added this to our pile that day. It was just like I remember, and my kids got into it just like I did as a kid. They probably learned nothing about not playing near wells (just as I learned nothing of that), but took away the fun name.
Tikki tikki Tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo
I dare you. Just try and read that without a little bounce in your voice. Despite this books attempt at teaching you to give short names to your kids, all it made me want to do is give my kids long names that sounded fun. I think as a kid, that was the one part of the story I never really got, why shorten names, when they can be so fun. The younger son should have been given a longer name in my opinion.  As an adult I see the lesson now.
Truth is, Tikki Tikki Tembo is just a fun fun book with a silly lesson, that everyone should read.
5 stars
Rating: 5 stars! I loved it!!!
Content: it’s a children’s picture book.
Copy: library