Harlem at Four

New from a New York Times bestselling author and a critically acclaimed illustrator!

Painting on an easel.
Harlem at Four

A Stunning and Powerful Picture Book Told In Two Parts

Meet Harlem: the girl and the neighborhood. Part one follows the adventures of a little girl named Harlem and her single father as they go on a museum “playdate” with painters Romare Bearden and Jean-Michel Basquiat, listen to John Coltrane records, and conduct science experiments in their apartment (“The volcano erupts /Red lava on Valentine’s Day!”).

Part two takes us back to the fourth year of the twentieth century in Harlem’s neighborhood. Here, we are introduced to Philip A. Payton Jr., aka Papa Payton, whose Afro-American Realty Company gave birth to the Black housing explosion, helping to start America’s Great Black Migration. Because of Papa Peyton, Black families—like Harlem and her father a century later—could move to Harlem and thrive and flourish.

This is a unique, absolutely gorgeous picture book by New York Times bestselling author Michael Datcher and illustrated by Frank Morris, the Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist weaves together the lives of a modern Black family and a historically Black neighborhood in New York City.

Random House Teachers and Librarians