The other night. while visiting my mother-in-law, my wife mentioned that her favorite book growing up in New York was Suzuki Beane. After a little poking around the bookcases, I found it and read the whole thing out loud!
Suzuki Beane is the story of a little beatnik girl who lives in Greenwich Village, circa 1961. Her father is a poet, her mother a sculptor, and she’s never been above 14th Street — until she meets Henry, a little rich boy from the Upper East Side, who lives in a house with a maid. Suzuki and Henry have adventures, read poetry, and learn a little from each other. And, like, it’s all written in hipster slang and man it’s a gas.
Written by Sandra Scoppettone, who also wrote “one of the earliest young-adult books to depict a lesbian relationship” as well as a number of mystery novels, and illustrated by Louise Fitzhugh, who went on to write and illustrate Harriet the Spy.
I put up the first nine pages here, plus a two-page spread in which Suzuki shows Henry’s dance class her own form of dancing. You will dig it the most.