cover image Abiyoyo


Pete Seeger. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $17.95 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-02-781490-3

Folksinger, musician and storyteller Seeger first told this story-song to his children over 20 years ago and has now written it as a book. It's based on a South African lullaby and folksong, yet it's too rollicking and exciting to lull a child to sleep. A ukulele-playing boy and his magician father are always getting into mischief, so they are banished to the edge of their town. There they have an opportunity to redeem themselves when Abiyoyo, a horrible, people-eating giant approaches the village. The story is so lyrical that Seeger's voice can be heard on every page. Hays, in his first picture book, creates a beautiful multicultural village. His sea of many-colored faces and costumes is exhilarating and expressive. The giant Abiyoyo is massive and jagged-toothed, but childlike and nonthreatening. The book is a triumph of storytelling and art. (All ages)