Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Week with Lou

Last week E and I had the pleasure of this little lady's company. We did lots of fun things; we baked cupcakes, visited the Children's museum, picked raspberries, played Ninja Turtles in the backyard, drew lots of pictures and read childhood favorite Tiki Tiki Tembo.

This charming picture book tells the story of two Chinese brothers. The eldest has a great big long name to show his status as the eldest and most valued child, while the youngest has a little short name to show how unimportant he is. But then one day, the eldest son falls into a well. The youngest boy has to run all over begging for help, and the long name takes so long to say that it is almost too late when he is finally rescued. In the end, everyone agrees that it is better to give short names in the future.

I remember collapsing in mirth while reading this with my mom and rediscovering it with Louise was great fun- especially in light of our recent travels. It may not be historically accurate, but it is quite true that the Chinese prefer short names to long ones. Blair Lent's stunning illustrations stand up to time, and Lou definitely got the giggles each time we read the name: Tikki tikki tembo no sa rembo chari bari ruchi pip perri pembo! (Now that's comedy- whether you are four or fourty four.)

1 comment:

Beth said...

I love Tikki Tikki Tembo! It's still a favorite.

As for "Ping," not so much. It just seemed cruel. Did you ever read that one. Ugh. It's worth missing.

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