Abiyoyo: Based on a South African Lullaby and Folk Story
Abiyoyo: Based on a South African Lullaby and Folk Story

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Annotation: Banished from the town for making mischief, a little boy and his father are welcomed back when they find a way to make the dreaded giant Abiyoyo disappear.
Catalog Number: #1324
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
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Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
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Publisher: Aladdin
Copyright Date: 1986
Edition Date: 1994
Illustrator: Hays, Michael,
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-689-71810-1 Perma-Bound: 0-8479-0106-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-689-71810-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8479-0106-7
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
In this "storysong," a ukelele-strumming boy and his magician father are banished: their passions annoy the townspeople. But after each uses his talent to smite the giant Abiyoyo, they earn some respect. The mural-like illustrations reinforce the story's worthy enthusiasms: music, magic, and the idea that every voice matters. A CD featuring Seeger performing the titular song is included.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 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
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Horn Book (4/1/02)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 533
Reading Level: 2.2
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.2 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 9751 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.2 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q00061
Lexile: AD470L

Outcasts become heroes in this picture book adaptation of a South African lullaby and folk story.

No one wants to hear the little boy play his ukelele anymore...Clink, clunk, clonk. And no one wants to watch his father make things disappear...Zoop! Zoop!

Until the day the fearsome giant Abiyoyo suddenly appears in town, and all the townspeople run for their lives and the lives of their children! Nothing can stop the terrible giant Abiyoyo, nothing, that is, except the enchanting sound of the ukelele and the mysterious power of the magic wand.

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