Abiyoyo Returns


After Abiyoyo the giant left, the small town he had bothered grew by leaps and bounds. The boy who helped his father make Abiyoyo disappear grew older and became a father, too. The people were filled with new life and spirit. But now there are new dangers: droughts and floods. The town needs a dam before it gets washed away. And sitting right where the dam would be is a boulder too big for anyone to move. Anyone, that is, except Abiyoyo.
Father still has his courage. Grandfather...

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After Abiyoyo the giant left, the small town he had bothered grew by leaps and bounds. The boy who helped his father make Abiyoyo disappear grew older and became a father, too. The people were filled with new life and spirit. But now there are new dangers: droughts and floods. The town needs a dam before it gets washed away. And sitting right where the dam would be is a boulder too big for anyone to move. Anyone, that is, except Abiyoyo.
Father still has his courage. Grandfather still has his magic wand. And his granddaughter knows he can bring Abiyoyo back, then make him disappear. But Abiyoyo is dangerous. People think the giant will eat them. Will lots of good food and beautiful songs keep Abiyoyo happy long enough to move the boulder and once again leave the town in peace?

Based on a South African tale, this story tells what happens when a giant who had been banished from a town by a magician thirty years earlier is called back to save the town from flooding.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Pete Seeger's story-song "Abiyoyo" came to life as a picture book in 1986. His beloved giant makes his return in this this original story, featuring Michael Hays's brilliant illustrations and a sing-along score, which is sure to be as much of a classic as the first.
From the Publisher
Booklist A tribute to tolerance.
Children's Literature
A once small town is growing by leaps and bounds. But there are terrible droughts and the people of the town decided they must build a dam. This work goes along very nicely until they hit a boulder. It is huge. No matter what they do, they cannot move that boulder. Then someone suggests, "Bring back Abiyoyo!" Abiyoyo is the giant with long fingernails and slobbering teeth who eats people. Everyone fears him, but certainly he can move that enormous boulder. The townspeople decide that feeding Abiyoyo will make him happy. Soon, he even learns to brush his teeth. So with Abiyoyo's help the village gets its dam and the people learn that sharing will tame the monstrous Abiyoyo. Michael Hays brilliant full-page illustrations bring to life the characters in this marvelous tall tale and add dimension to the text. Readers will enjoy this story by master storyteller and singer Pete Seeger. 2001, Simon and Schuster, $17.00. Ages 4 up. Reviewer:Sue Reichard
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Fifteen years after the publication of Pete Seeger's Abiyoyo (S & S, 1986), the giant returns. This time, the townspeople are cutting down all the trees to build houses, and flooding results when the rains come. When they try to build a dam and run into a boulder nobody can move, the granddaughter of the magician responsible for Abiyoyo's previous disappearance convinces him to magic the big guy back. When the giant reappears in all his slobbery, stinking wonder, roaring for food, the townspeople rush to feed him. The little girl, in a ploy to get him to move the boulder, asks him if he is strong enough to do it, and he hurls it several hundred feet away. The villagers rejoice and everyone sings the now-famous song, faster and faster until, exhausted, the giant falls asleep. But they soon discover that Abiyoyo's feat has crushed the magic wand that would zap him away again, and the local folks must find a way to coexist peacefully with him. Seeger teaches several lessons in this clever if somewhat forced tale: the value of the environment, of sharing, and of the need to live with whatever "giants" are in one's life. Hays's colorful illustrations are just as wonderful as in the original tale, with the jagged-edged, overpowering monster oozing attitude from every pore. For those who felt it unfair of the town to zap away what they feared in the original book, this second installment will be a just and happy ending.-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they've cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam-but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just "Zoop Zoop" him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo's destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: "every community must learn to manage its giants." Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689870545
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 10/26/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 344,911
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD210L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Pete Seeger is a national treasure, arguably the most influential figure in American folk music as well as an important advocate of social causes. He lives in Beacon, New York.

Michael Hays has illustrated several picture books, including the sequel to Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo Returns. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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Interviews & Essays

A Conversation with Pete Seeger
Q. When and where did you first learn the tale of Abiyoyo?

A. In 1952. I found the song in a book of African songs. There were chapters on warrior songs and wedding songs. They even have circumcision songs. It was fascinating. This story actually came out of a chapter on lullabies. At the foot of the page, the book said, "This lullaby is part of an ancient tale about a monster who eats people. The parents get it dancing, and when it falls down in a fit, it is dispatched by the parents." I built the whole story on that footnote.

Q. What first attracted you to the story?

A. I adapted this story. Once, while putting my children to sleep, I tried to sing them a lullaby I'd just learned out of a book. But when children get to be three or four years old, they realize that lullabies are propaganda songs. They didn't want a lullaby. "No! No! We want a story, a long one." So I started improvising.

Q. What inspired you now to bring Abiyoyo back to life in Abiyoyo Returns?

A. I made up this story for my long-time singing partner, Lee Hays, who told me, "Pete, you have to have a sequel. Poor Abiyoyo! You can't just leave him out in limbo."

Q. Do you feel any connection between this story and your own life?

A. Undoubtedly. But it would be presumptuous to say exactly what.

Q. What do you feel Abiyoyo teaches children? What have you learned from performing/reading Abiyoyo?

A. Abiyoyo teaches children old world values: Courage is important. Ingenuity is important. Abiyoyo Returns has more modern teachings: The world needs more trees, and to beware of uncontrolled growth.

Q.What sort of legacy would you like Abiyoyo to leave?

A. The same legacy as any of my songs. I want to leave people with the idea, "Hey I could make up a story like that."

Q. What compelled you to write children's books?

A. I like to sing for children. It gives me hope for the future. It's easy to get cynical and pessimistic in one's older years. But, going to schools and seeing their little faces, you can't help but have hope.

Q. Do you have any plans for any future children's books?

A. I have hundreds of ideas. But they don't have publishers yet.

This interview has been provided by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing.

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