Tikki Tikki Tembo

from Square Fish


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  • Quality

  • Read-it-Again Score

  • Fun-and-Learning

  • Tikki Tikki Tembo published by Square Fish
  • Written by: Arlene Mosel
  • Illustrated by: Blair Lent
  • We recommend this book for kids ages 4 and up


Overall Editor's Rating

What It Is

Originally published in 1968, Tikki Tikki Tembo tells an ancient Chinese folktale about why the Chinese give their children little, short names instead of long names. In this 48-page picture book written by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blair Lent, readers are introduced to Tikki Tikki Tembo, real name Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo. When he accidentally falls down a well one day, it takes awhile for help to arrive because it takes Tikki Tikki Tembo's younger brother such a long time to say his older brother's name.

Is It Fun?

This is a classic book that continues to be read and shared through multiple generations. The whimsical illustrations are really fun to look at, as is trying to say Tikki Tikki Tembo's whole name over and over again.

Who It’s For

Tikki Tikki Tembo is for ages 4–8.

What To Be Aware Of

This book is also available in hardcover and e-book versions.