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review 2017-09-28 06:48
Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
Tikki Tikki Tembo - Arlene Mosel,Blair Lent

Title:  Tikki Tikki Tembo

Author:  Arlene Mosel

Artist:  Blair Lent

Genre:  China / Family / Drama / Parental Favoritism

Year Published: 1968

Year Read:  1993

 Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Intense Scenes and themes of Child Mistreatment)





I actually first heart of this book on a Weston Woods video and I really enjoyed this story! “Tikki Tikki Tembo” is an old Chinese folktale retold by Arlene Mosel along with illustrations by Blair Lent and it is about how a young boy named Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruche-pip peri pembo (what a name!) gets into big trouble because of his long name. “Tikki Tikki Tembo” is certainly a great book for children who are fans of Chinese folklore!

I have always found this book extremely interesting to read, especially about the part where the first sons are given long and extravagant names, while the second sons are always given short names in Ancient China. Arlene Mosel has done an excellent job at retelling this ancient Chinese folktale as the story is cute and somewhat intense at the same time. I really loved the way that Arlene Mosel repeats Tikki tikki tembo’s long name (Tikki tikki tembo – no sa rembo - chari bari ruchi – pip peri pembo) over and over again in the book since it is a huge tongue twister to say fast! I also loved the close relationship between Tikki tikki tembo and his brother Chang as they loved to play with each other all the time and they are always willing to help each other out during their time of need. Blair Lent’s illustrations are simplistic since there are only yellow, blue, white, black, grey and green colors on each page, but the illustrations still make the story entertaining to read, especially as they capture the true essence of Ancient China and it was also interesting to see a big contrast in clothing between Tikki tikki tembo and Chang as Tikki tikki tembo is dressed in a blue royal looking outfit while Chang is always dressed in a yellow country styled outfit, which indicates to the audience about the importance of their names.


The reason why I gave this book a four star rating instead of a five star rating is because of the way that Chang was treated in this book. Since Chang is the second born son of the family, his mother never really noticed him and they also seemed to lack any concern for when Chang fell into the well. Also, near the end of the story, it was unclear whether Chang was treated any better after the incident in the well. I usually do not approve of children being treated less kindly than their older or younger siblings, so this was a big issue for me in this book. Also, some children might feel like that their parents are paying more to their younger or older sibling and that might upset them, so parents should tell their children that they will always love all of their children equally.

All in all, “Tikki Tikki Tembo” is a great book for fans of Chinese folklore and for children who enjoy reading about some good sibling bonding! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the scenes where the boys fall into the well might be too intense for smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-03 18:09
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble - William Steig

Genre: Family / Drama / Magic / Animals

Year Published: 1969

Year Read:  2008

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers




“Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” is one of William Steig’s earlier books and has proven to be the most emotional and heartwarming of all of his books. Also, this was William Steig’s first controversial book due to the image of the police being portrayed as pigs, even though I do not think that it is an issue because all the characters are animals, but it depends on how you view this issue. Anyway, William Steig’s dramatic storyline and illustrations has won this book a Caldecott Book Award and will surely be a treat to read.

William Steig has done an excellent job at beautifully detailing a young donkey’s attempts to change back to normal after a wish goes awry. Both children and adults will feel for Sylvester’s great sadness at not being able to tell his parents that he is still alive and his parents’ misery as they thought that their darling son was dead. William Steig’s illustrations are beautiful and detailed as he vividly draws the sad and happy emotions on Sylvester’s parents’ faces when they worried about their son, Sylvester. Also, the illustrations of the flowers and the trees and even the snow during the winter scene are memorizing as they provide a calm background the images.

***Small Rant:***

Alright, so everyone who has been browsing through various banned books knows that the reason why this book was banned was because of the image of the policemen being portrayed as pigs. First of all, I have an issue with this book being banned because of that reason. I mean, this is a book about TALKING ANIMALS, so what is wrong with the police being portrayed as pigs in a book about talking animals? Also, the main character is a DONKEY! So, that means that if the characters were switched and the main character was a pig and the policemen were donkeys, would that still be an issue? There were a couple of banned books where I do not agree with the reasons of it being banned (although, I never agree with any book being banned), but this was one of those books where I think the reason for it being banned was COMPLETELY unjustified.

***Rant Ended***


Also, the scenes where Sylvester's parents worry about Sylvester's whereabouts might worry smaller children who might worry about whether or not Sylvester will ever transform back into himself again. Parents should reassure their children about the importance of staying safe if they wonder out into an unknown area.

“Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” is William Steig’s milestone children’s book as it discusses the love that Mr. and Mrs. Duncan have for their child, Sylvester, when he turns up missing and [how the spell of the magic pebble is broken when Mr. and Mrs. Duncan wished for their child’s return. (hide spoiler)] This book will be a cult favorite for both children and adults and is suitable for children ages five and up, even though it discusses the loss of a child.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog



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review 2017-04-08 15:11
Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
Time of Wonder - Robert McCloskey

Genre:  Family / Nature / Weather / Poetry / Exploration

Year Published: 1957

Year Read:  2010

Publisher: The Viking Press




When I first read this book as a child, I did not really care for this book since I thought that this book was too boring to sit through. However, when I read this book later on as an adult, I realized that this book was a truly moving book. “Time of Wonder” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book from the great mind of Robert McCloskey and it is about how a family spends their time on the islands enjoying the beauties of the island. “Time of Wonder” may seem a bit too boring for smaller children, but it is truly one of Robert McCloskey’s most beautiful and moving books ever created!

Robert McCloskey has done a great job at making the story extremely dreamy and beautiful as he describes the girls’ adventures on the island in a dreamy and poetic fashion, giving the story a beautiful feeling, the type of feeling you get when you go to a wonderful place. Robert McCloskey’s illustrations are much different in this book than in his other books since the images are actually colored instead of the usual black and white images that he usually uses for most of his books. Robert McCloskey’s illustrations are truly realistic and beautiful as he shows images of the island showing its beauty towards the two girls. The images that stood out the most in this book are the images of the ferns growing and the images of the hurricane coming towards the island. The images with the ferns growing shows the ferns uncurling themselves from the ground, which is truly a beautiful sight and the images of the hurricane coming to the island shows the storm making a strong wind that violently blows at the family’s house and you can see the waves being blown so violently and the family being blown by the wind as the father tries desperately to close the door.


Smaller children might be bored with this book since the beginning is a tad bit too slow and the action does not really come around until the scene of the hurricane coming to the island. Also, the length of this book is much longer than most picture books and many small children might become bored with this book. Parents might want to read one section of the book for the first day and then read the second section of the book the next day so that way children would not become so easily bored.

“Time of Wonder” is a beautiful and enchanting book about enjoying the true beauty of nature that will have many children respecting nature so much more. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up due to the slow beginning.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2016-09-14 06:56
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Trinka Hakes Noble
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash - Trinka Hakes Noble

Genre: Humor / Animals / School / Field Trip / Farm

Year Published: 1980

Year Read:  2010

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers

Series: Jimmy's Boa #1



“The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash” is a truly hilarious story from the creative mind of Trinka Hakes Noble along with illustrations by Steven Kellogg and it is about a girl’s wild adventures at the field trip to the farm. “The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash” is definitely one of the most memorable books about farm adventures ever written that many children will enjoy for years!

Trinka Hakes Noble has done an excellent job at writing this story as it details a girl’s adventures at the farm. Trinka Hakes Noble writes the story in a creative and hilarious way as the book’s narration is set up as a dialogue between the girl and her mother, which helps children see the close interaction between the girl and her mother and seeing the story from their perspective instead of through a third person point of view meaning that there is an actual narrator narrating this story. Trinka Hakes Noble’s writing is also hilarious as the girl details her adventures at the farm in a cause and effect fashion as each catastrophic event leads to another. Steven Kellogg’s illustrations are both hilarious and beautiful at the same time as the children always have a smile on their faces and the antics that are caused by the realease of Jimmy’s pet boa constrictor is drawn in a chaotic way as the children and the teacher have wild looking hair and wild expressions as a peaceful trip to the farm takes a turn for the worse.


“The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash” is a brilliant and hilarious book for children who enjoy reading about the farm and love crazy adventures and will be a favorite among many children for years. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate about this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog




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review 2016-09-14 04:22
Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
Danny and the Dinosaur - Syd Hoff


Genre: Dinosaurs / Friendship / Children's / Magic

Year Published: 1958

Year Read:  2010

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers

Series: Danny and the Dinosaur #1



"Danny and the Dinosaur" is a New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year Award by Syd Hoff and it is about how a young boy named Danny starts playing with a friendly dinosaur who has come to life when in a museum that Danny goes to. "Danny and the Dinosaur" is a true masterpiece for many children who love books about dinosaurs!

Syd Hoff has done an outstanding job at both illustrating and writing this book. Syd Hoff's illustrations are both creative and cute at the same time as the dinosaur that Danny encounters looks extremely friendly and the dinosaur's body would usually take up the pages that he is on and Danny himself is an extremely cute and friendly looking child as he always has a smile on his face when he is around the dinosaur. Also, what made Syd Hoff's illustrations truly creative is that there would be a set of two pages that are mainly in brown, black and white and then the next set of two pages would be in all kinds of color, which is a similar format that Madeline's Rescue had. Syd Hoff makes this story extremely cute and heartwarming at the same time as Danny learns about the true meaning of friendship when he spends much of his day with the dinosaur and enjoys his time spent with the dinosaur. Syd Hoff also made this book highly creative as this was one of the few children's books that I have read where a human child talks to a dinosaur like a human being and Syd Hoff has made the interaction between the dinosaur and Danny so heartwarming as Danny and the Dinosaur act like true best friends.

"Danny and the Dinosaur" is truly one of the greatest books about dinosaurs ever created and it would be a huge hit for children who love dinosaurs and learning the true meaning of friendship. I would recommend this book to children ages three and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book and the writing format of this book is extremely simple for three year olds and up to read.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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