Tikki Tikki Tembo

Here’s one from the vault. I can still almost remember this name by heart from childhood readings (I was tempted to put a Ricky Ticky Tavi on the front at first). Tikki tikki Tembo (Square Fish, 6.95) by Arlene Mosel is not the full name of the first and honored son of his Chinese parents. No, his full name is Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo. The second son’s name is Chang. When Chang falls into the well, it’s no big deal. His older brother runs to find help to get Chang out. But when Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo falls into the well, Chang must get that mouthful out to his most honorable mother as well as the old man with the ladder…well, it almost undoes the child. The suspense both visual and narrative, the delightful illustrations and the ability of kids to chant with urgency Tikki’s long long name, make this book a winner. First published in 1968, Square Fish is devoted to re-issuing titles from backlists of MacMillan’s imprints: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers and Roaring Brook Press. Wonderful authors like William Steig, Polly Horvath, George Selden, Natalie Babbitt. Oh my. Visit them on the web and start drooling: http://us.macmillan.com/squarefish.aspx


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