Monday, April 30, 2012

Tikki Tikki Tembo

Written by: Arlene Mosel

First line: 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 names.

Why you should read this book: This classic and popular retelling of an old Chinese legend recounts the perils of a boy with a ridiculously long name—Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo—which, according to the text, means “the most wonder thing in the whole wide world.” While fooling around, the boy’s younger brother falls into the well, and is quickly rescued, but, when the same mishap befalls the older boy, the time it takes to say his ridiculously long name means that it takes the adults an extraordinarily long time to rescue him. Children love the repetition of the strange name along with the interesting illustrations, evoking a distant era in a foreign land.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Love both your children equally.

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