Max Said Yes!
The Woodstock Story

By Abigail Yasgur & Joseph Lipner
Illustrated by Barbara Mendes


Max Said Yes! The Woodstock Story is a children's picture book that delightfully relates the tale of how 3 days of peace and music came to be at a dairy farm in Bethel NY in August 1969. This 32 page book is meant to be read aloud to children (3 - 8 yrs.) Lush, colorful illustrations.

ISBN: 978-0-6152-1144-2 Change the Universe Press, 2019

This 2nd edition coincides with the 50th anniversary of this iconic music festival-Woodstock.  Max Said Yes! The Woodstock Story is a Mom's Choice gold seal award-winning children's picture book. The story is told in rhyme and lushly painted illustrations that evoke the Woodstock era. Share the value of peace and love with generations to come.

max Yasgur

max Yasgur

There really was a huge music festival called Woodstock and there really was a dairy farmer, Max Yasgur, who helped make it possible by saying, “Yes.” Woodstock took place on August 15, 16 and 17, 1969 in the rural town of Bethel, New York. Posters advertising the festival promised “three days of peace and music.”

Never before had peace and music been so gigantic or so messy or so wonderful. Almost half-a-million people showed up for the three day concert – enough to fill every seat in ten different major league baseball stadiums. Imagine them all needing to eat and sleep and go to the bathroom for three days out in a farmer’s field. A peace worker who was also a clown named Wavy Gravy and the hippies who lived with him ran a “Please force” to keep order and set up a free kitchen. “What we have in mind,” Wavy Gravy told the crowd, “is breakfast in bed for 400,000.”

These kids not only lived together in a big outdoor community for three days but heard some of the best rock and roll music of all time. Many of the most famous rock stars of the time performed there including the great Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, The Who, Richie Havens, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Grateful Dead, The Band, Joe Cocker, Santana, Sha Na Na.

The festival was also famous for the idea that these kids could create a new world filled with love not hate, peace not war. Joni Mitchell wrote and recorded a song about Woodstock after the festival, which included the lyrics: “I’m going down to Yasgur’s farm/ I’m going to join in a rock ‘n roll band/I’m going to get back to the land/And get my soul free.”

Max Yasgur, a plain-spoken dairy farmer, entered rock and roll history by supporting the festival and allowing it to take place on his land when many local citizens and officials in upstate New York fought against it. He spoke from the stage to the hundreds of thousands of kids: “I’m a farmer . . . I don’t know how to speak to twenty people at a time, let alone a crowd like this. But I think you people have proven something to the world . . . . a half a million young people can get together and have three days of fun and music and have nothing but fun and music, and God bless you for it.”

Praise for Max Said Yes! The Woodstock Story

"My six year old grandson is going to love this!"

-Joyce Mitchell, Assistant to Michael Lang, producer of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival

"This book is so sweet and to the point. Max was something else!"
-Lenore Blumer, Organizer for the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival

"This book lets the light of Woodstock shine on to a new generation. Every home should have a copy of Max Said Yes! The Woodstock Story."
-Richie Havens, folk singer, guitarist, performed at Woodstock 1969

"A good way to introduce little children to the most positive cultural event of the century - the 1969 Woodstock Festival."
-Elliott Landy, Official Woodstock Festival Photographer

"It's a rhyming good time!"
-Wavy Gravy, Chief of the Woodstock Festival "Please Force" and member of the Hog Farm Collective

"After so much time, a little rhyme, an allegory that tells the story, to future generations. Terrific."
-Michael Lang, Producer of Woodstock 1969

Photo by Richard Birnholz

Photo by Richard Birnholz

Abigail Yasgur and Joseph Lipner wrote this book as a labor of peace and love and as a tribute to Abigail’s cousin, Max Yasgur, the hero of this story. Abigail Yasgur and Joseph Lipner met and married in Boston and named their son Max Yasgur Lipner for reasons you can probably guess. They have three groovy children, Emma, Max and Rose. The authors live in Los Angeles with their dog Charlie.

Contact the authors:

Barbara Mendes studied art throughout her youth in NYC; then published in Underground Comix as "Willy Mendes." Her brilliantly colored narrative paintings, epic in detail and scale, have been exhibited in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Florida, and Tel Aviv; Biblical murals are permanently displayed in Jerusalem and Florida. Her "Angel Wall" is a Los Angeles Vintage Mural. Barbara has been named a "Los Angeles Cultural Treasure," and her Comix work is featured in The History of Illustration.

Contact the illustrator: