Gather kids, it's story time! Seriously, gather your kids if you have them, as this post is for the little ones and the little ones at heart. It's a treasured childhood book of mine and I found a you tube reading of it to share with you which (again, with the peeing in the pants) brightened my day so much so that I now need to wear shades.
This book is called tikki tikki tembo, and the story is set in ancient China. It's written by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blair Lent.
I adore this book, although my 30 year old copy is in Sydney, I can still bring it to you right here, thanks to technology. It is this book that first captured my imagination and sent my heart wandering East. It was through my constant yearning to learn more and more about China that I soon learnt about Tibet. I was devastated to realise that right at that moment, a country and people I cherished were destroying and torturing it's neighbour and themselves. My wandering heart bled. That was about ten years ago. and at that time I was at Uni studying art, so I went to a Chinese calligraphist in Sydney who taught me the Chinese character for 'love with suffering', I was told it is a character used often. I still continue to use this symbol in my art.
But as some of you may know, thanks to all of us pressuring to bring this situation to the headlines and hearts of thousands, Tibet and China are talking right now. This is positive.
My post about my Tibetan friend Tenpa gathered some great and controversial comments, check them out here. And as I mentioned in my last comment on that post, I will not only be showcasing Tibet on my blog, but everything that is connected with it, and that includes China. So why not start with Tikki Tembo! It begins a little something like this...
The illustrations captured my imagination as a little girl. When Mum read me the book I was instantly taken to the little house at the top of the hill, or resting with the old man and his ladder. And it is now one of my niece and nephew's favourite as I have been reading it to them since they were toddlers. Their faces beam when they hear me say tikki's name and they join in with pure delight.
I highly recommend you buy a copy as the printed version is definately the best. But for those who just can't wait, here is the very awesome retro video reading. Make yourself a tea, take a break and a deep breath. And enjoy...
And just for laughs, here is a chipmunk version of tikki's name!