Little Man Little Man: A Story of Childhood

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Little Man Little Man: A Story of Childhood
First edition
Author James Baldwin
Illustrator Yoran Cazac
Country United States
Language English
Publisher The Dial Press
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 96 pages
ISBN 0-8037-4859-0

Little Man Little Man: A Story of Childhood is a 1976 children's novel written by James Baldwin and Yoran Cazac.

Plot introduction[edit]

TJ recounts what he experiences while playing ball outside.

Explanation of the title[edit]

"Little man, little man" is what Miss Lee calls WT after covering up his gash.

Plot summary[edit]

TJ plays ball with his friends outside; he grazes his knee, then hurts his buttocks. A police car drives by, looking for a man; they run away. TJ's father then invites WT over for cocoa. Later, TJ goes shopping for Miss Lee, under the aegis of WT. TJ is then summoned by Miss Beanpole; she wants him to go shopping for her; he goes with his three friends. They go to a store whose owner is Puerto Rican. On the way back, while playing ball again, WT hurts his foot and starts bleeding - a bottle fell down from a window and the shards hurt him. They go to Mr Man's and Miss Lee covers up his gash, starts crying, then gives him a Pepsi Cola. In the end, Blinky dances to Mr Man's record, to the delights of Miss Lee and Mr Man.


  • TJ, a four-year-old boy from Harlem.
  • TJ's parents
  • WT, a seven-year-old boy. He has an older brother. His father has left home and his mother works till dark. He wants to become a boxer.
  • Blinky, an eight-year-old girl. She wears nothing but blue jeans. She speaks some Spanish.
  • Mr. Man, the janitor. He may be thirty-seven years old. He likes to play music.
  • Mrs Lee, Mr Man's wife. She has a drinking problem. She worked as a nurse before she got married.
  • Miss Beanpole, a neighbour who likes to look out the window and locks herself in her own apartment. Miss Beanpole is not her real name; TJ cannot remember it.

Allusions to other works[edit]

Allusions to actual life[edit]

  • The book is dedicated to Beauford Delaney.
  • TJ is said to look up to Hank Aaron.
  • WT is said to long to be a boxer like Sonny Liston.
  • Tj sees a copy of Muhammad Speaks in a store; he remembers his father disapproves of it while his mother thinks anything is worth reading.

External links[edit]