Tikki Tikki Tembo

Tikki Tikki Tembo

Book rating: 05 Mixed media product MacMillan Young Listeners

Retold by Arlene Mosel, Illustrated by Blair Lent, Read by Marcia Gay Harden

List price $9.99

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  • Publisher: MACMILLAN AUDIO
  • Format: Mixed media product
  • Dimensions: 208mm x 259mm x 5mm | 204g
  • Publication date: 21 July 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 1427207240
  • ISBN 13: 9781427207241
  • Illustrations note: colour illustrations
  • Sales rank: 164,714

Product description

This humorous retelling of a favorite folktale recounts how the Chinese came to give their children short names. Beautifully illustrated, this perfect read-aloud storybook is one adults and children will enjoy sharing together again and again.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. Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo is the name of a mother's first, and most honored, son. It means, "the most wonderful thing in the whole wide world!"

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Author information

Arlene Mosel (1921-1996) first heard the story of Tikki tikki tembo as a child. When she grew up, she shared this wonderful tale with countless children, including her own. Because so many young listeners responded enthusiastically, she decided to write her own retelling, and "Tikki Tikki Tembo" became her first book for children. The book was named an American Library Association Notable Book and won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. In 1997, "The New York Times" named it one of the best 50 children's books of the previous 50 years. Mosel was also the author of "The Funny Little Woman," which won the 1973 Caldecott Medal for Blair Lent's illustrations and was recognized as an Honor Book by the Hans Christian Andersen International Children's Book Awards. Mosel was an associate professor of library science at Case Western Reserve University. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Mosel died in Indianapolis in 1996. Marcia Gay Harden is an Academy Award-winning actress who has performed in many movies, including Pollock, Into the Wild, The Mist, Casa de los Babys, Mystic River, Flubber, Meet Joe Black, and The First Wives Club. She won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Lee Krasner in Pollock. She has appeared on television shows including Damages and Royal Pains. For Macmillan Audio, she reads Arlene Mosel's classic children's book, "Tikki Tikki Tembo." Blair Lent received the Caldecott Medal for "The Funny Little Woman" by Arlene Mosel. He has also received three Caldecott Honors. He is the illustrator of Ms. Mosel's "Tikki Tikki Tembo," a bestseller since its publication in 1968. Blair Lent lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Customer reviews

By TeensReadToo 03 Oct 2010 5

You know you have a classic on your hands when your son sees the book you're showing him and goes, "I LOVE that book! We read it in library class!" So already, I had the battle half won when I told my two kids that I received the book and CD to review. As soon as we got in the car to drive to grandma's house, they asked me to put the CD in and leaned together in the back seat with the book open between them.

MacMillan Audio has taken a classic that is over 40 years old and added new life to TIKKI TIKKI TEMBO by adding an unabridged audio book to a paperback edition. Read by the actress Marcia Gay Harden, kids and adults alike can enjoy the tongue twister of a name (that I'll proudly admit my son can rattle off in no time flat) story that many of us have grown up with.

TIKKI TIKKI TEMBO is an old Chinese folktale explaining why they have such short first names. In old times, the Chinese gave their firstborn son long names to honor them. Second sons were given hardly any name at all. Tikki Tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo is Tikki Tikki tembo's full name. His brother's name is merely Chang.

When Chang falls into a well, it's easy for Tikki Tikki tembo to relay the message to his mother and ultimately the man who rescues him. But when the roles become reversed and Tikki Tikki tembo falls into the well, poor Chang runs out of breath trying to relay the message to those that can help rescue him. It's from this event that it is told that Chinese found it wise to stick to short names, like Chang.

Ms. Harden does a wonderful job reading the story. She picks the tempo up when there is stress or drama going on. She over-emphasizes the silliness that is Tikki Tikki tembo's name. And there are many wonderful background sound effects that are employed in the story. There is the sound of running water when both boys are trying to inform their mother of each others falls into the well. There is the sound of running feet as they each try to get help. And the CD has both a read-along version as well as a storytelling version. One has a Chinese gong designating when to turn the page, the other flows uninterrupted.

Included with the set is a copy of the book. With the classic illustrations, it will be sure to bring back memories to the parents of the children who are just discovering the wonders of TIKKI TIKKI TEMBO for the first time.

Review quote

"This book and CD combination...encourages children to retell the story to others (thus developing their oral language skills)...This is a very popular story that children will enjoy hearing and telling over and over." - Parents' Choice Awards, 2009 Parents' Choice Approved Award Winner"The Oscar-winner's reading voice is absolutely lovely. She has such fun with the story - and with the repeated pronunciation of "Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo" - that you'll have no problem listening again and again." - "Cookie Magazine""Young children will love hearing the audio again and again and families will play it over and over because this classic suits all ages." - "Chapel Hill Herald""Macmillan Audio has taken a classic that is over 40 years old and added new life to TIKKI TIKKI TEMBO...Read by actress Marcia Gay Harden, kids and adults alike can enjoy the tongue twister of a name story that many of us have grown up with." - TeensReadToo.com "Marcia Gay Harden provides wonderful narration, giving each character a distinctive voice." - "School Library Journal""Marcia Gay Harden's reading will remind the parents of young listeners why Arlene Mosel's book has entertained since 1968." - "AudioFile", Earphones Award Winner