Thirty years later...
The little town that was once threatened by the giant Abiyoyo has grown by leaps and bounds. But now that the townspeople have chopped down all their trees, every year they have floods and droughts. Worse yet, there's a giant boulder blocking up the site of their new dam! Something has to be done.
Well, the young boy who helped make Abiyoyo disappear way back when now has a little girl of his own. And she knows the only way to save the town: Bring back Abiyoyo to help move the boulder. "Bring back Abiyoyo?" the townspeople cry. "The giant that eats people up?" But the little girl has a plan for that, too....
Fifteen years after Pete Seeger's storysong "Abiyoyo" came to life as a picture book, his beloved giant is back in a wonderful new story. With Michael Hays's brilliant illustrations and a sing-along score included, Abiyoyo Returns is destined to become a family favorite.
About 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.
Date of Birth:May 3, 1919
Date of Death:January 27, 2014
Place of Birth:Patterson, NY
Place of Death:New York City, NY
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.