Arlene Mosel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Arlene Tichy Mosel (August 27, 1921 – May 1996) was an American author of children's literature who was best known for her illustrated books Tikki Tikki Tembo, a retelling of an old 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.[1]

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,[2] 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 ALA Notable Book[1] and was recognized that year with the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award.[3] 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.[4] It has been suggested however that the story probably originated from the Japanese folktale Jugemu instead of a Chinese folktale.[5]

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.[1][6]

Mosel died in May 1996 in Indianapolis.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Arlene (Tichy) Mosel, Contemporary Authors Online, Gale (Cengage), entry updated December 7, 2000. Accessed February 3, 2009.
  2. ^ Grimes, William. "Blair Lent, 80, an Illustrator of Books, Is Dead", The New York Times, February 2, 2009.
  3. ^ Winners and Honor Books 1967 to present, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. Accessed February 3, 2009.
  4. ^ Staino, Rocco. "Caldecott-Winning Blair Lent Dies at 79", School Library Journal, February 4, 2009. accessed February 4, 2009.
  5. ^ Yang, Jeff. "Born to Rebel", San Francisco Chronicle, March 25, 2009.
  6. ^ "Caldecott Medal Winners, 1938 - Present", American Library Association. Accessed February 3, 2009.