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Comment: Shared Knowledge is a not for profit public charity! Check us out on facebook. We provide funding for educational programs in Richmond, Virginia. PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION -USED GOOD- This book has been read and may show wear to the cover and or pages. There may be some dog-eared pages. In some cases the internal pages may contain highlighting/margin notes/underlining or any combination of these markings. The binding will be secure in all cases. This is a good reading and studying copy and has been verified that all pages are legible and intact. If the book contained a CD it is not guaranteed to still be included. Your purchase directly supports our scholarship program as well as our partner charities. All items are packed and shipped from the Amazon warehouse. Thanks so much for your purchase!
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Abiyoyo Book and CD Hardcover – October 1, 2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Rei/Com edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689846932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689846939
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #290,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Abiyoyo was an African folktale, adapted by folk singer Pete Seeger as a bedtime story for his children, and later used in his concerts. The story is brilliant in its gripping simplicity, perfectly suited to capture the attention of small children and spark their imaginations. A little boy who plays the ukulele and his father, who plays tricks on people by using a magic wand to make things disappear are run out of town because they are annoying everyone. Then a giant from the old days, who eats people alive, comes and threatens the town, and it is only the little boy and his dad, using the very talents that had annoyed everyone, who save the day, and become heroes.
This book is the very favorite of my two pre-school boys. Everyday they bring it to me repeatedly asking me to read it to them. Every night, they request it as their last bedtime story (the story is easy to memorize, and lends itself well to personal adaptations). My four-year old will "read" the book himself, turning through the pages and repeating the story that he has memorized. Abiyoyo has captured their imaginations, and even entered into their play.
The book's illustrations are intriguing. As I mentioned, this story was adapted from an African folktale, and the boy and his father are depicted appropriately in character. But the illustrator depicts the town in which they live as a global village, with the residents being of many races and cultures, all wearing classic costumes of those cultures. Originally, this concept put me off a bit - an impossible mish-mash village that seemed little more than a sop to political correctness for kids. But as I watched my kids react to the book, my opinion changed.
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Format: Paperback
Chrildren at my nursery school beg to hear this book over and over,I also love it and readily comply. We have the audio recording by Pete Seegar to accompany this story, he is a joy to listen to.
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By A Customer on December 8, 1997
Format: Paperback
My boys discovered this book at their preschool - both my two year old and the four year old adore the story and love the song that goes along with it (it's a Pete Seeger classic)! We now have a copy at home and it gets read aloud at least once a day. I highly recommend this book to anyone with young children - I just wish you carried the version with the audio tape and song. We can't seem to find it anywhere.
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Format: Paperback
In a storysong based on a South African folktale, a young boy and his father are cast out of town because they annoy the townspeople with their ukulele playing and magic tricks. When the giant Abiyoyo comes to town wreaking havoc, the father and son save the day with the same ukulele music and magic.

Do yourself a favor and check out Seeger's performance, which is really is delightful - you can hear the children laughing at some parts and the adults at others. The book, however, falls a little flat for me. In print, the text seems dull and a little spare and, for a storysong, it has little rhythm. The illustrations aren't particularly remarkable, but the diversity of the townfolk is a little heavy-handed, with an Asian woman with chopsticks in her hair, an Indian woman with a bindi on her forehead, a Buddhist monk, a bearded man with a yarmulke, an American Indian man with braids and a feathered headband, and a man of indeterminate origin with a turban on his head and a monkey on his shoulder! With what we can hear in Seeger's performance, I wonder if a new edition with updated illustrations is in order. Also, I would be interested in knowing more about the tale this was based on - in a nice introduction honoring the tradition of oral storytelling, Seeger admits to building the story out of a footnote. I would be interested in knowing a bit more about the story's origins.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm shocked by the few negative reviews on this book that even exist. We learned about this book through my daughter's preschool, which is, by all accounts, a phenomenal, well known preschool, with excellent teachers. My daughter came home talking about this book, and when I asked her teachers about it, they said, without fail, it is a perennial favorite-- EVERY YEAR-- of the kids in the 2-3 year old class (and older kids like it, too). The story of this giant really captures the imagination of the children. I can only imagine that the couple of reviewers whose children were frightened by this book must have children who are just VERY VERY sensitive-- on the far end of the spectrum. Not to spoil the end, but the giant in this book gets excited to hear his name in a song, gets so excited he dances his heart out, and collapses from, basically, getting his dance on. It's not scary. My daughter loved this book in her class at age 2, and just turned 3, and received it for her birthday. She asks to read it all the time. She loves to talk about giants. The sequel, titled Abiyoyo Returns, is equally popular among this age set. The one negative thing I would say is that the author changes tenses within paragraphs, which really irritates me as a reader and is grammatically improper. However, the book is based on verbal storytelling and folk tales, so it is written the way someone might tell a story. And, given how much the kids LOVE this book, I can overlook it.
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