If you've visited or lived in New York you know the city has its own beat. Little Man, Little Man captures the rhythm of Harlem in the 1970s. It is a coming-of-age story told through the eyes of 4-year-old TJ who likes to bounce his ball up and down the streets of his neighborhood. TJ is both tender and tough: "A couple of times a car almost run him over. That ain't nothing."  There is a richness to TJ's life. He spends time with friends in his neighborhood. He runs errands for older neighbors, walking to the store through streets that aren't always safe for him. He sees his world through the innocent eyes of a young boy, yet there is a danger lurking in these pages. Little Man, Little Man hits on themes such as alcoholism and violence, along with a few "curse words" that may seem like too much for a younger child, but the reader who chooses to experience this book knows there are children facing this reality in their daily lives. It is up to a parent to decide if their child is ready for Little Man, Little Man, but it certainly impacted me deeply as an adult reader. It is a rare book so I recommend checking it out from the library, or searching for a used copy. Many libraries have copies on hand, if not in your city or town, it can often be found in a nearby library.

Little Man, Little Man: A story of Childhood
James Baldwin and Yoran Cazac (illustrator)
Ages:  Adult/Child per parent's discretion
Pages: 96

Famed writer, thinker and novelist James Baldwin wrote one children's book: Little Man, Little Man: a Story of Childhood. The book takes the reader into the heart of Harlem, New York in the 1970s -- a place that is filled with wonder and danger. Inside the book jacket:

A children's story for adults, an adult story for children - and for children and adults a story of poignancy and character and charm. It is about the coming of age in Harlem of boys named WT and TJ; the surface incidents of daily life that mask a menace in the Harlem streets that is eternal; children and adults who live in a way that only a great novelist can produce. "
Lisa Weissjames baldwin