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About the Author: Arlene Mosel

Arlene Tichy Mosel was a American author of children's literature who was best-known for her illustrated books Tikki Tikki Tembo, a retelling of a Chinese folk tale, and the award-winning The Funny Little Woman, which was the recipient of the Caldecott Medal for illustration in 1973.

She was born as Arlene Tichy on August 27, 1921, in Cleveland, Ohio to Edward J. Tichy, an engraver and Marie Fingulin Tichy. She attended Ohio Wesleyan University, where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1942, and later attended Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University) where she graduated with a Master of Science in Library Science degree in 1959. She married sales engineer Victor H. Mosel on December 26, 1942, with whom she had three children; Nancy Mosel Farrar, Joanne and James.

Mosel had been an assistant in the children's department at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, before becoming an associate professor of library science at Case Western Reserve University. She was also an assistant coordinator of Children's Services at the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

Her book Tikki Tikki Tembo, published by Holt in 1968 and with illustrations by Blair Lent, was presented as a retelling of a traditional Chinese story about a boy whose rescue after falling into a well was delayed due to his extremely lengthy name. The book was recognized as an American Library Association Notable Book and was recognized that year with the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. In 1997, the book was selected by The New York Times on its list of the 50 best children's books of the previous 50 years. It has been suggested however that the story probably originated from the Japanese folktale Jugemu instead of a Chinese folktale.

In another collaboration with illustrator Blair Lent, Mosel's 1972 story The Funny Little Woman, published by E. P. Dutton, won the Caldecott Medal for illustration, and was recognized as an Honor Book in the 1974 Hans Christian Andersen International Children's Book Awards and was a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award honor list selection.

Mosel died in May 1996 in Indianapolis.


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Goodreads rating: 4.21

Paperback, Published in Apr 2007 by Square Fish

ISBN10: 0312367481 | ISBN13: 9780312367480

Page count: 48

Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-
chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo!

Three decades and more than one million copies later children still love hearing about the boy with the long name who fell down the well. Arlene Mosel and Blair Lent's classic re-creation of an ancient Chinese folktale has hooked legions of children, teachers, and parents, who return, generation after generation, to learn about the danger of having such an honorable name as Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo.

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