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4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  1,989 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
Pete Seeger's storysong Abiyoyo has delighted generations of parents and children. The tale of how a father with his magic wand and a boy with his music triumph over the giant Abiyoyo is based on a South African lullaby and folk story.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published January 6th 2005 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1986)
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I actually first heard about this book when I watched an episode on “Reading Rainbow” that discussed the power of music. “Abiyoyo” is a South African lullaby and folk story by songwriter Pete Seeger along with illustrations by Michael Hays and it is about how a young boy and his father try to outsmart the monster Abiyoyo when the monster tries to threaten their village. “Abiyoyo” is a brilliant folktale that many children who love folk songs will definitely enjoy for many years!

Pete Seeger, mast
Ken Moten
Sep 09, 2012 Ken Moten rated it really liked it
Read this as a child and saw a youtube clip of Pete Seeger himself telling this story. So I guess this a bit of nostalgia for me.
Evelyn Swanson
Nov 19, 2016 Evelyn Swanson rated it it was amazing
Abiyoyo is based on a South African lullaby and folktale adapted by songwriter Peter Seeger and illustrated by Michael Hays. This book is an excellent read aloud for Kindergarten to grade three. The story is about the scary giant Abiyoyo, who is always hungry and appears in a small South African village to eat the cows and sheep. The people are afraid for their lives because they fear Abiyoyo will want to eat them too! How can the townspeople get rid of this menacing giant?

Seeger begins to tell
Lucas Calderon
Nov 13, 2015 Lucas Calderon rated it really liked it
Abiyoyo is a folktale. It's setting is in the United States. The magician father and his son were ostraziced from the town. The problem was about a giant called Abiyoyo that the magician father told to his son about. One day Abiyoyo appeared, walking into the town and destroying everything. The son started to use the ukulele and made Abiyoyo dance until he fell to the floor. Finally when Abiyoyo was on the ground, the magician father made him disappear. The town was happy and now the father and ...more
Kristen Sawyer
Nov 20, 2015 Kristen Sawyer marked it as to-read
Summarize the book:
This is the story about a father who uses his magic wand to torment the villagers while his son annoys them with his ukulele. They get sent to live on the outside of town. One day, a giant arrives in the town and no one knows what to do. The father and his son go to greet the giant and the boy starts playing his ukulele, the giant starts dancing, the boy plays his ukulele faster and the giant starts dancing faster. The giant falls over and the father uses his magic wand to mak
Carola Prida
Nov 15, 2015 Carola Prida rated it really liked it
"Abiyoyo" is a folktale about one boy and his father that are being rejected from town. The father, was a magician and disappeared too many things, which made people hate him. The boy, plays too much guitar and people were sick of it. One day, Abiyoyo, a giant that people didn't believe on, came to town. People were running and screaming. The boy and his father went to Abiyoyo and started singing to him, "Abiyoyo, abi-abiyoyo!" The giant started dancing and fell, because he ran out of air. The f ...more
Nov 27, 2016 Olivia added it
Shelves: wow-books
Abiyoyo is a South African lullaby/folk tale that is told generation to generation. It's about a little boy and his father who don't quite fit in in their community. The little boy plays the ukulele and it disturbs the people around him. His father is a magician but people don't like it when he is around because he makes things disappear with his magic wand. They tell the story of Abiyoyo who is a huge man who will eat people. Well, one morning Abiyoyo comes to town and everyone is afraid of him ...more
Ariel Tyler
Oct 15, 2014 Ariel Tyler rated it really liked it
Abiyoyo is a folk story from South Africa about a boy and his father that outwit the monster Abiyoyo. They both possess magic that is both delightful to others and terrifying. Eventually they get driven out of their village because of people fearing their magic. Soon the monster Abiyoyo shows up, terrorizing everyone, and it's only the father and son's magic that is able to save the day.

I like this book for all elementary grades because it's easy to understand, the pictures are engaging and ther
Jorge Santos
Nov 13, 2015 Jorge Santos rated it it was ok
Summary: Once, there was a boy that played his ukelele all over his town and people didn't want that. His father was a magician and got in trouble for playing too many tricks on people. Both of them got ostracized. Out of town they made storys about a giant called Abiyoyo. Nobody believed them but they still told them. One morning, a giant shape covered the sun, and people screamed with panic. The child and the father went to Abiyoyo, and people said that they would die. The child started playin ...more
Karla Paredes
Nov 14, 2015 Karla Paredes marked it as to-read
Genre: Folktale

“Abiyoyo” is a short folktale about a kid with an ukulele and his father with a wand who plays to many tricks on people. This African-American folktale talks about a father and his son who the village people are sick about. They told them to go away (out of the village) and leave forever. This is the problem. In the story, people pass from generation to generation a story about a monster called Abiyoyo. No one believed in it until one morning the ground shook, so they kne
Nov 15, 2015 Hermes rated it liked it

Abiyoyo is a folktale that takes places in a small village (African American Culture). The folktale narrates the story of a boy and his father. The boy played the Ukulele and the father was a magician. They were ostracized from the village.
People told stories about a giant called Abiyoyo, and one day Abiyoyo came to town. The people screamed but the father and the son thought of something. The boy sang a song about the giant, the song went, "A-BI-YO-YO, A-BI-YO-YO.” The giant started dancing and
Sydney Armstrong
Apr 12, 2016 Sydney Armstrong rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow
Abiyoyo is a perfect book to incorporate culture, music, and reading strategies into the classroom. It is an old South African folktale about a monster that comes into town and eats people's cattle and destroys farms. When the monster comes into town, everyone runs in fear except a boy and his dad who were previously kicked out of town for their theatrical habits. However, it is those habits that saves the day, making everyone in the town loving them and wanting them to come back.

This book cont
Nov 21, 2015 Diego rated it it was amazing

“Abiyoyo” is folktale that takes place in a small town on South Africa. It is the story of a boy with a ukelele that people town hated him and a magician who also was hated, so they were kicked out of the town. One day they woke up and they saw across the fields Abiyoyo the giant attacking the town, the boy and the magician were brave and they took down the giant, the town accepted them again.

“Abiyoyo” is a folktale because it is based on beliefs, this means that it does not have an auth
Oct 18, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books-jp
During library school, there was a storytelling class I took, and one of my fellow students was a teacher getting her media specialist title. She performed this book with such flair as well as singing the song with a tune that she may have gotten from elsewhere or made up, I don't know. I do know that I now do this story - including the song - exactly the way she did it, and it is always a big hit with the five to eight set.
Jennifer Hadley
Nov 05, 2016 Jennifer Hadley rated it liked it
Shelves: peer-instructor
The book Abiyoyo was a charming folktale of a man and a boy that were not liked by their town and a scary monster named Abiyoyo. This book would be good for a read aloud in 1st grade classes and up. It has a great message of bravery and judgement. It teaches not to be so easily annoyed and quick to judge people. Children will love the tale of all the magic and a funny dancing monster.
Aug 12, 2010 Krishna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main thing I remember about this book is that it came with a cassette, and the Abiyoyo song will still periodically get stuck in my head, even though I haven't heard it in 13 or 14 years. Abiyoyo, Abiyoyo. Abiyoyo, iyoyo, iyoyo!
A golden classic from when I was a sprout. Truly a treat to enjoy this book with my 6 year old boy. Excellent in every regard. Musical, multi-cultural, short & sweet.
Feb 01, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-reads
Earworm. Abi-yoyo abi-yoyo. Also, scary monster on the horizon. Great for before bed :)
Amanda [Novel Addiction]
This was suggested to me because I've read some other folktales recently. It was cute.
Feb 09, 2008 Ellenjsmellen rated it it was amazing
My children love, love, love this story & song. We have it on cd in the car.
Isabella Bottini
Jan 26, 2017 Isabella Bottini rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this book. "Abiyoyo" is a wholesome book discussing a South African folk tale. It talks about how Abiyoyo plays ukulele and is kicked out of his town because of his loud music. His father also does magic tricks and they both get shunned from the town. However, a large monster comes and they are able to play their music and do their magic to get him to go away. In the end, they welcome the two of them back with open arms.
Overall, I liked the fantasy idea of this book. The monster was
Feb 13, 2017 Rachel rated it it was amazing
This book was very interesting. This father and son are outcast because the father plays tricks on people with magic and the son makes a lot of noise with his ukelele. Little would the towns people know that the very things they disliked about the two would be the very things that saved them from certain death. It was a very nice folk story.
Brenda Quinones
Jan 25, 2017 Brenda Quinones rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. It offers an inside look to different culture and diversity. Realistic illustrations. The story shows empathy, acceptance, team work, and a little bit of music.
Kind of a mishmash story, and a bit intimidating to read aloud if you aren't able to sight read musical notes or imagine a catchy tune spur-of-the-moment.
Joy Lane
I would read this story to grades 3-6th for a storytelling program. It is a good example for how the magic a story can transport you. Pete Seeger has a wonderful YouTube reading
Dane Ryan
Nov 26, 2016 Dane Ryan rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
Author: Pete Seeger
Illustrator: Michael Hays
Grade level Equivalent: 3.2
Guided Reading: O
Writing traits: Voice - The writer expresses ideas in new ways, which makes the piece interesting, original, and fresh. The piece contains many action words, giving it punch and pizzazz. The writer has stretched to find lively verbs that add energy to the piece. Voice - The writer expresses ideas in new ways, which makes the piece interesting, original, and fresh. The writing sounds like the writer because o
Mar 17, 2017 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit
Gorgeous illustrations and a great message, based on a South African folk tale. I love books with singing!
22016Patrice L.
Sep 24, 2016 22016Patrice L. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: international
Abiyoyo is based on a South African Lullaby. It is an wonderful children's story for young children story of a little boy who played the ukulele and his father who is a magician. The story is told in a small village. Here you have a talented young boy who is gifted at the ukulele which irritated the people in the village. They hated the sound of the ukulele but not more than they hated his father's gift. He is a magician who could make anything disappear. He used the gift to play jokes on the vi ...more
Jessica Javier
Sep 18, 2016 Jessica Javier rated it liked it
This book is a great book to work children imagination. Children at a young age love stories and more when is about how to be heroes. This book has a giant include child help children with new vocabulary work. This book have a great story of a little boy and a father and how they safe everyone from the giant. This book has great pictures and good words for children to understand.
Eileen Goedert
Jun 08, 2014 Eileen Goedert rated it really liked it
The book, based on an African lullaby, was created by, the very white and aged, singer Pete Seeger. Seeger hand- picked illustrator Michael Hayes another white male to form the giant that eats a village's cows and sheep. Because the book is so captivating, I cannot fault the process that brought two white males to create, in book form, a beloved African lullaby. In fact, I conclude that it shows that art crosses cultural boundaries. Michael Hayes used African masks as a part of his inspiration i ...more
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Peter Seeger, better known as Pete Seeger, was a folk singer, political activist, and a key figure in the mid-20th century American folk music revival. As a member of the Weavers, he had a string of hits, including a 1949 recording of Leadbelly's "Goodnight Irene" that topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. However, his career as a mainstream performer was seriously curtailed by the Second Red Sc ...more
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“Come back to town. Bring your darn ukelele! We don't care anymore!” 3 likes
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