Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Little Man, Little Man by James Baldwin, ill. Yoran Cazac
As far as I can tell, I was very limited in what book I could select Kate and myself to cover this week. She wanted me to find one that was pertinent to the times in which we live. After wracking my brain for just the right title I decided to focus on a book by a Black author. Even better, a book that was ahead of its time when it came out and may only find its true audience today. And few books for kids tackle the issue of police brutality as honestly as this one does. Reprinted two years ago, James Baldwin’s 1976 title (the only book for children he ever made) feels both timeless and in desperate need of a new illustrator.
Here’s the book I alluded to: Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature, edited by Julia L. Mickenberg and Philip Nel
If you want additional information on Little Man, Little Man, I summed it all up a couple years in this post.
Here’s one of the sequences where TJ is imagining a man trying to get away from the police, finding nowhere is safe, and getting shot.
This is the first wordless selection in the book. I just love the feel you get from this casual moment in the kitchen.
Artist Yoran Cazac never saw New York firsthand and for the most part that doesn’t disturb me. But his vision of Lenox and Seventh is definitely an odd little view. Brinton Turkle definitely did a more accurate job in The Boy Who Didn’t Believe in Spring.
Okay, reader. You be the judge. Here is the shot of the bodega:
And here is the suspected clown:
Here’s the link to the PBS show How We Got to Now and their episode on chlorine in the water.
Here are previous episodes of Fuse 8 n’ Kate that focused on Black creators:
- The Boy Who Didn’t Believe in Spring
- Mirandy and Brother Wind
- Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
- Sam and the Tigers
- Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears?
Filed under: Fuse 8 n' Kate
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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