How many of you can say, “Tikki Tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo” without even thinking? I had great memories of this book from my own childhood, then reading it to my son and now reading it to my students. I’m thrilled to see that my students can chant the name just as enthusiastically as I used to do. I love the story and the incredible illustrations by Blair Lent.
First published in 1968, Tikki Tikki tembo is the retelling of an ancient Chinese folktale. It’s the story of two brothers. The first, honored son has a great, long name, which means “the most wonderful thing in the whole wide world!” The second son has a short name, Chang, which means “little or nothing.” Tikki Tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo pays the price for his great, long name when he falls into a well and needs to be saved. His little brother struggles to tell others that his brother has fallen into the well. It’s a classic and well worth a read. Enjoy.