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Extended Audio Sample Tikki Tikki Tembo Audiobook, by Arlene Mosel Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.004 out of 54.004 out of 54.004 out of 54.004 out of 54.004 out of 5 4.00 (15 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Arlene Mosel Narrator: Marcia Gay Harden Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2009 ISBN: 9781427207258
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • Tikki Tikki Tembo is a perfect book to read aloud, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself joining the ranks of its chanting followers.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “This old folktale of what happens when the boy falls into a well…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.”

    Horn Book Magazine

  • “Just right for storytelling and tongue-twisting repeating, and…for reading aloud.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 6/27/2011

    " A favorite from childhood. The story is less dramatic than my childhood remembrances, but it is still pretty fun. It makes a great read-aloud. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 6/23/2011

    " Fun to read out loud. I guess this is a folk tale about how the Chinese named their first and second born sons. Funny to say Tikki Tikki Tembo's full name out loud. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 6/6/2011

    " Filled with tough twisters that will dry and exaughst your mouth! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chelsea | 5/6/2011

    " LOVE LOVE LOVE this picture book! It reminds me of my 1st and 2nd grade teacher :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 4/26/2011

    " Kate you've got to read this one at circle time. As you said, it's sort of a far east 'Sambo,' but it teaches us all a very valuable lesson - never trust the Japanese. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Murlene | 4/17/2011

    " Funny story about how the Chinese came to give their children short names. Great read aloud book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elin | 4/15/2011

    " My daughter can remember Tikki Tikki Tembo's whole name better than I can and we have reads this 100's of times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 4/15/2011

    " My three year old with a shortish attention span loves this book and will sit and pay attention to every word until we are done. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rima | 4/14/2011

    " Cute story about a Chinese family who has an adventurous son named Chang. Because he didn't like to listen to his mother, he found himself in a bit of trouble when he fell down a well. Have to read to see what happens to poor Chang. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kia | 4/11/2011

    " This book is a great read aloud. I love this book, and I remeber reading it like it was yesterday. Very engaging book, and could also teach your students about different cultures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 4/11/2011

    " This is a great book about how the Chinese came to give their children shorter names. It is a Chinese folktale that is great to incorporate into the classroom for developing knowledge of Asian culture. It is a great book to read aloud, and children will be saying the chant all day! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharonneika | 4/11/2011

    " Children will enjoy trying to read the names in this Chinese folktale. They will get tongue tied and probably go around trying to say these name throughout the day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jayna | 4/8/2011

    " Tikki Tikki Tembo is a Chinese tale about the naming of the first born child. It is a funny story with two boys who do not always listen to their mother and along the way it shows how their mother’s favoritism affects them. It is a good read with repetition for emerging readers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melva | 4/8/2011

    " I really love this book its very understanding and interesting and I would suggest this to at least maybe 4 to 7 or 8 year olds! ;P "

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About the Author

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 fifty children’s books of the previous fifty 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.

About the Narrator

Marcia Gay Harden is an Academy Award–winning film and theater actress. Her first role in a mainstream film was as a femme fatale in the Coen brothers’ Miller’s Crossing. She went on to play roles in such films as Pollock, Mystic River, Mona Lisa Smile, and Meet Joe Black, among many others.