Melissa's Reviews > Tikki Tikki Tembo

Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
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's review
Oct 07, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: childrens
Read in October, 2011

Tikki Tikki Tembo
By Arlene Mosel

Genre: Traditional Literature

In a small village in China, Tikki Tikki Tembo and his younger brother often accompany their mother to the river to wash their clothes. Next to the river is a deep well that the boys like to play on. The boys, at one point or another, fall in the well. It is only Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo had such a long name that the poor boy almost perished in the bottom of the well.

A. The area for critique is both the illustrations and the word choice.
B. The illustrations are excellent. They aren't bright nor dull, containing mainly blue, brown, green and black. And the illustrations are definitely eye-catching. The illustrations also portray Chinese customs well. The word choice is exemplary. I would use this story for first and second graders. I think the lesson that the Chinese learned about giving their first born an exceptionally long name was not always the best option is a great way for students to learn a little bit about other countries and their customs.
C. Inside the front and back covers are illustrations of the town. Both of these depict Chinese drawings and I think are excellent examples of Chinese towns. Towards the middle of the book, the two-page spread of the dragon for the Festival of the Eighth Moon is an excellent connection for Chinese customs and drawings. Students can also see that the Chinese celebrate a Festival of the Eighth Moon. The teacher could then do some background research on the Festival and present this to the students as well.

Curriculum Connection:
I would use this book as an introduction for China or other holidays that other countries celebrate. I saw this title listed in the back of the textbook by Jim Trelease and knew I had read it as a child. I had to rent it from the library and re-read it. It was just as enjoyable this time around as it was as a child. My daughter likes to say the full name, "Tikki Tikki Tembo....and so on." This is a must read for any second grade classroom.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Sue (new)

Sue This book has received criticism recently for the stereotypical (and not necessarily correct) way it portrays Asian culture. It does make a great read aloud for the sound of the name and word choice.

message 2: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina Charnecki Although, I have heard about this book, I am almost embarrassed to say that I have never read it before. I love how your critique notes several Chinese examples of customs, towns, etc. in the book, but most of all, I love how you explain how to use these examples in the classroom to introduce students to Chinese culture. From what you wrote, this book seems as though it can stretch above and beyond a simple read-aloud; it can integrated into several other activities.

Melissa I believe it can. I remember reading it in class as a child and the name alone was enough to spark my interest. I had to check it out from the library and I now own it! My daughter has learned to say the son's very long name and giggles every time! It is definitely a must read!

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