View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, September 25


Based on a South African tale, this story tells what happens when a giant who had been banished from a town by a magician 30 years earlier is called back to save the town from flooding.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780756942762
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/2004
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 1,214,087
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 4 - 7 Years

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.

Paul DuBois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender are a husband and wife writing team, authors of many books for children, including the Animal Inn series; Count on the Subway; My Subway Ride; and My Taxi Ride. Paul has also cowritten four books with legendary folk musician, Pete Seeger, including Abiyoyo Returns and The Deaf Musicians. Paul and Jennifer have appeared at Lincoln Center, The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Virginia Festival of the Book, as well as countless schools, libraries, and museums. They live in Massachusetts.

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews