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The Wonderful Adventures of Suzuki Beane
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The Wonderful Adventures of Suzuki Beane

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  146 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Suzuki, the child of Greenwich Village beatniks, lets the reader know she is hip. However, she discovers her parents are as bigoted toward her square friend as his parents are toward her.
Paperback, 95 pages
Published 1962 by MacFadden (first published 1961)
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Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Longer than I expected for a picture' book that looks to be marketed towards children, but that's more of a pleasant surprise. It's quite a cute, funny story to read.

Two children from quite different backgrounds become close friends much to the dismay of their respective parents. (Honestly, the only 'decent adult' (through Suzuki's eyes) in the book is the woman who works as a maid for Henry's family.) The children have fun playing together and learning about each other, and despite their diffe
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Probably the best written artifact to emerge from the whole bullshit "Beat writers" scene. It's fitting that Louise Fitzhugh contributed the illustrations, because Suzuki is a lot like Harriet Welch: they're both precocious girls and preternatural storytellers, guiding us through the now-gone New York of the early '60s.
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: subversive
omg if copies of this weren't a zillion dollars i would give them out like hotcakes to my childlike adult friends... subversive, hilarious, and had a complex morality within
NYLon Carry On
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is my All Time Favourite Book EVER.
I have the original copy, that I've hung on to, from when I was a kid in NYC.
It is easily my most prized possession!
We knew the author, who was a neighbour.
It is the most Un-P.C. Children's book ever written!
I love it because the main character lives where I grew up, and lives LIKE we did.
'Artists in lofts in the Village.'
And she is a big mouth, like I was, and still am!!!

Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yowsa, can I possibly be the first to review this very early 60's, quirky, unique, fun read?

Looks like it!

Ever have the experience of completely forgetting that you've read, seen, or done something and then--without warning--realize that not only did you experience it, but you loved it? Just had that experience reading reviews of Harriet The Spy, one of my childhood favs, written by Louise Fitzhugh, one of the authors of this small treasure, Suzuki Beane.

Haven't read or thought of this book in
Sep 12, 2011 rated it liked it
I read about this in a Joyce Brabner comic strip, "Beatnik Chicks," included in the otherwise forgettable anthology The Beats: A Graphic History. I can't tell if Suzuki Beane was intended for children, or if it only has the form of a picture book (with pictures by Louise Fitzhugh, of Harriet the Spy fame). Suzuki is a little hep chick who lives with her parents in 1950s Greenwich Village. It's Eloise in a cold-water walk-up with bongos and Gitanes. Suzuki paints and writes poetry and hates tv an ...more
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utterly charming. I had a few questions about word choices along the way...but why quibble? The way the text was laid out was perfect, as was the Courier typeface (and the couple of goofy poems we met along the way). And the illustrations were fun too. Hard to understand why this isn't considered a total classic. The TV show (available on YouTube) was also a hoot--which is how I found out about this book in the first place.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: almost-poetry
Like, a cool book both swinging cats and squares can dig. Like, people are different and that's okay. Deep.

I honestly have no idea how this would have done back in the early 60s as a kids' book, but I found it delightful as an adult. Definitely enhanced by Louise Fitzhugh's illustrations.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is by far the craziest kids' book I have read in my life. It is one that you'll either love or hate, but one thing is certain--you'll never forget it.
Rebecca McNutt
This book might be short but it's still really powerful, with strong themes of acceptance, identity, culture and growing up with less-than-perfect parents. Despite the main character being a young child, it's really a book for all ages and was hopefully a wake-up call to parents of the times who behaved the way Suzuki's did. Unfortunately I don't own a copy, but I read it online and I loved the subtle writing style and eccentric illustrations.
May 17, 2013 added it
This is an amazing children's book...hard to find. It's narrated by this young girl who has beatnik parents. She befriends a "total square" boy named Henry. Both sets of parents do not like that they are friends. It's priceless. A piece of trivia. Desilu Studios tried to make a sitcom out of it. It only made it to a pilot...which is priceless to watch. Check it out. It's on youtube.
Jun 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: beatniks and adult children
This is a delightfully quirky children's story about a little beatnik living in her parent's "pad" in the Village. It used to be impossible to get a copy of this, but it may have been reissued or easier to find through ebay.

Great story and illustrations, ideal for the Bob Dylan/Robert Frank/Jack Kerouac crowd.
Jun 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
This is the greatest little book in the world. It is about a little beatnik girl growing up in the Village. Her parents are artists and she digs poetry. Illustrations by Louise Fitzhugh of 'Harriet the Spy' fame.
Aaron Bandy
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very sweet, if alarming, allegory about how the apparent differences of high and low society can be surmounted by love. Fantastic illustrations and text that really must be read out-loud to be fully appreciated.
Mar 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a period piece, created as a counterculture response to "Eloise". It satirizes beatnic culture, as well as the straight/square scene in NYC during the late 1950s. Illustrated by the then young artist, Louise Fitzhugh (prior to the publication of "Harriet the Spy".)
Aug 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the Beat life from a kid's perspective
Recommended to Kirsten by: Aunt Joie bought me this book, because she thought I had lived a
Everyone has their hang-ups.
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ny, children-youth
I found a copy of this in San Francisco once and I had to have it. I think I gave it to Molly.

I love the illustrations.
Melanie Kay
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Out of print, difficult to find, but if you can afford it, it's worth the investment. Like, it's a trip, man!
Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
I loved this book when I was a kid - it's fun to read it with fresh eyes now that I understand more of the context.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Feb 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Dharma and Greg
Shelves: children
Okay, so three stars may be stretching it for a book so short on content. But it strikes me as the kind of kids' book Dharma Finkelstein might have written when she was a kid. The simple line drawings are the best part; they are so alive.

Suzuki is a "baby beatnik" who lives with her parents in a pad without real furniture in the Village. She mouths their hipster talk with great conviction, saying that the subway train is as forceful as a Ginsberg poem, etc. Suzuki really believes her parents ar
Amy Rae
Apr 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Suzuki Beane represents a fascinating team-up between two early greats of YA fiction--Sandra Scoppettone and Louise Fitzhugh--but its value is more academic than pure enjoyment to me. The layout of the text and pictures suggests early readers to come, especially Bink & Gollie, but the text seems like it would be a lot easier for adults to appreciate than children, even back in 1962. Definitely an interesting read, but not necessarily something I'd come back to, I think.

(This one isn't YA fic
Apr 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Adorable book from 1961 about a beatnik child (with the unique name of Suzuki Beane) who learns some things about life, adults, and friendship. It's meant to be a parody of Eloise!
The only thing I'd change is the number of pages- it needed to be shorter. Illustrated by the author of Harriet the Spy!
Sherry (sethurner)
I suppose the message about not automatically stereotyping other people is fine, and the 50's beatnik lingo is interesting, but I wasn't particularly charmed by the story. Maybe Maynard G. Krebs would enjoy it...
Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
What I learned from this book... endless love. I learned how to be a grownup when I was a kid, and a kid again now that I'm grown up.
Nov 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
my all-time favorite childrens' book to date.
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious - I like this almost as much as Harriet and The Long secret - real hip!
Jul 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Worth tracking down if you are a fan of beat history and or the art of Louise Fitzhugh ("Harriet the Spy").
Kyria Kalata
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a good story.

Funny how life doesn't really change. Teachers and parents are still narrow minded.

It was published as a children's book but due to the vocabulary being very 60's kids today would require a lot of interpretations. I also don't think they could relate to children freely roaming New York.

The art work and story is simply charming and humorous.

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Also wrote as Jack Early.

Sandra Scoppettone first emerged as one of the best hard-boiled mystery writers using the name Jack Early for her first three novels that included A Creative Kind of Killer (1984) that won the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America for best first novel. She had started writing seriously since the age of 18 when she moved to New York from South Orange, New Jer
More about Sandra Scoppettone...