From Publishers Weekly
Abiyoyo, the popular picture-book version of a storysong by Pete Seeger, illustrated by Michael Hays, turns 15 in October. To celebrate, Simon & Schuster is issuing a special anniversary edition of the book, which will come packaged with a CD recording of Seeger performing two different versions of his work in colorful storytelling style, one from 1956, the other, a live performance captured in 1991. Inspired by a South African folktale, the story of how a father and son vanquish the giant named Abiyoyo has long been a favorite and has been featured on PBS's Reading Rainbow. In addition to the audio bonus, Seeger fans have still more to cheer about: the original hardcover (without CD) will remain in print and a sequel, Abiyoyo Returns, will be released in October as well.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3 The words in this story-song flow along with the same ease and naturalness as Seeger's well-known telling on the recording, Abiyoyo and Other Story Songs (Folkways, 1967). There are only minor changes in this version, and the style reflects an oral rather than a literary tradition as Seeger switches from past to present tense in the text. Seeger combines his sense of humor and drama to turn disturbing events to high-spirited fun, as a father and son, turned out by their neighbors as troublemakers, use the very objects that bother peoplethe boy's clinking-clonking ukelele and the father's magic wandto obliviate Abiyoyo, monster on the loose, and so come back into community favor. The tale contains levels of meaning and powerful metaphors for those who choose to pursue them. If Hays' oil-on-linen illustrations are not always successful, it may be that they seem too studied when matched with Seeger's spontaneous, colloquial style. For example, the father is a magician in the simplest sense, yet Hays renders a "magic shop" in the background, with doves, rabbits, silk hatsnot the stuff of most folk tales. In peopling the village, too, he seems to be laboring to make a global statement, surrounding the black boy and his father with people of all races, places, beliefs. His Abiyoyo is a shadowy, looming figure against the blood-red sky, at first a faceless force, growing larger, and finally a towering glaring figure full of terrible witless energy. What is surprising about this Abiyoyo is the lack of earthiness. He is not sinew and muscle, but an automaton with a metallic gleam, the huge overalls he wears seeming an incongruous folksy touch. Still, there are also some very fine illustrations here, and this is a book worthy of attention. It merits a wide audience. Susan Powers, Berkeley Carroll Street School, Brooklyn
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.