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Uncle Andy's: A Faabbbulous Visit With Andy Warhol Hardcover – March 10, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-Warhola, nephew of the artist Andy Warhol (who dropped the "a" from his last name early in his career), recounts his family's relationship with his famous uncle. Several times a year, he, his siblings, and his parents surprised Andy and his mother with a visit to their home in New York City. Warhol's house, always crammed with all kinds of things, including 25 cats, was a giant playground for the children. But the author's mother considered the place an untamed mess. To her "Gee, Andy, when you going to get rid of this stuff?" he countered, "Ohhh, no. This is art." And indeed, Warhola's text reiterates the theme that art is everywhere, a truth that his mother comes to realize in the end. The large watercolor illustrations usher readers into the New York City of the '60s, the streets crowded with tail-finned cars, the Automat and RKO Palace among the buildings lining the sidewalks, and a store window advertising pork chops for $.39 a pound. Boxes of Campbell's soup, paintings of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and other stars, and many other objects that eventually found their way into Warhol's art abound throughout his house, and a cutaway view of all five floors, with cats peeping out everywhere, will hold readers' interest. In spite of the artist's eccentricities, among them his wigs and his cats, the author's evident admiration for the man who invigorated his own artistic talent shines in this story. For more information on Warhol, see Linda Bolton's Andy Warhol (Watts, 2002).
Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 3. James' life couldn't be more different from Uncle Andy's. His dad (Andy's brother) is a junkman, and the wonderful introductory spread shows the Warholas' shabby house, its lawn strewn with trash and treasures. Every so often, James and his family head to New York to surprise their artist uncle and the kids' grandmother, and for James it's like stepping into another world, as the exciting pictures of driving into the city so clearly express. Andy Warhol thinks everything is art, so there are painted soup cartons in one room and crumpled cars in another. The children love watching him create, but it is young James who truly gets the bug, and the artwork in this book is a testament to his considerable talent. Most kids won't know who Andy Warhol is (the author's note introduces him), but celebrity doesn't really matter here because children will be enamored with this off-beat artist, who owns dozens of wigs and has dozens of cats (all named Sam). It would have been nice to have a few photos of Warhol's artwork, but the re-creations Warhola provides, integral parts of the illustrations, give kids a good idea of what Andy's pictures were like. This catches the excitement that the creative process can engender, both for the established artist and for the dreamer. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (March 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399238697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399238697
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
With all the great picture books out there, it's no wonder that one or two fall through the cracks. I was very partial to "Uncle Andy's" when it came out last year, but no one seemed to pay it any mind. And this is a real shame when you sit down to look at it. Imagine, if you will, being related to one of the hippest New York artists working in the Pop Art scene. James Warhola has taken one of his childhood experiences and woven it into a faabbbulous story about visiting his rather well known uncle, Andy Warhol.

Living with his family in the countryside just a little ways from Pittsburgh, James Warhola always looked forward to the regular trips to Uncle Andy's. James's father was Andy's eldest brother, and worked in a junkyard. Always taking Andy a couple choice junk pieces, the family would pile into their station wagon and make the trip to visit Andy and their Grandmother Bubba. Once there, Andy's home was a kid's dream house. It was filled with crazy junk, pop art, and millions of different peculiar odds n' ends. It had twenty-five cats (all named Sam), paint by number paintings, wigs, art, you name it. Warhola goes on to recount some amusing problems that would arise from staying with Andy. For example, Andy was prone to staying out late partying and then sleeping in. One morning, James's little sister Maddie got tired of waiting for Andy to wake up so she walked right in. The house was pierced with a shriek (on the part of Andy) when it was clear that he hadn't put his wig on yet. James then goes on to explain that everyone in the family knew that Andy was bald, and that once Andy sent a box of his old wigs to his brother, allowing the family to goof around and try them all on.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tsila Sofer Elguez on March 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was drawn to this book due to its wonderful drawings and the first page that said something about a junk yard... only when I brought the book home I learned that the wonderful drawings were no coincidence as we soon understand - and nor is the junkyard connection.
My son was immediately hooked and has asked me to read this story for the past three nights in a row. There are many things to like about this book: the large eccentric family (where the eccentric uncle fits like a glove), the very rich drawings that have you checking details on every page, and the interesting different story which seems to appeal to all ages.
There are many things to look for when reading the book together and our favorite page seems to be the one showing Uncle Andy's house "which is like an amusement park". What occupies us is our search for the twenty-five cats ("all named Sam"). Mysteriously we can only find twenty-four cats and are still looking for the missing Sam. We also have many other questions and wonders such as "Can't Bubba cook anything other then Salami and Cheese"? (that's the mother asking) and "What job did Uncle Andy assign to the young members of the family"? (that's the child asking).
The story has a very inherent artistic philosophy (art is everywhere and can be found everywhere) which is very easily understood by children and seems to perfectly suit their way of thinking. Also a lot of legitimacy to any kind of "art".
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The early dispatches are correct - but they tell only half the story. Yes, writer-illustrator Jamie Warhola (nephew of Andy) has brought both his talents to bear on a children's storybook that will please and surprise Warhol's adult fans. Yes, it is any child's ideal introduction to the world of art-making: the messy stuff of art - drips, stretched canvasses, the junk of life that can inspire. Unlike other Warhol books, there is little about opening-night hype, superstars, or the impenetrable sophistries of critics and historians. And yet: this, in its own way, adds to art history. For example: Was there another significant artist in the family? Did Paul Warhola, Andy's brother, have some weird intuition about the importance of the commonplace years, even decades, before Andy's infamous soupcans at the Ferus Gallery? So it would seem (see opening pages); and so we are apprised of new alleyways, new influences on Warhol barely mentioned by Bokris, Bourdon, Guiles and other standard biographies. Jamie Warhola's style of illustration is detailed, colourful, incident-filled and affectionate. It is as much memorial vanitas as record or memoire - a superb, child's eye portrait of someone who, like a child, brought a fresh eye. James ("Jamie") Warhola has brought just that to this portrait of his famous uncle. A classic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alissa Mower Clough on February 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
From the arresting illo of a young child mimicking one of the world's most recognizable artists, this book is a treat and a treasure. James Warhola and his family are as far apart as can be from Uncle Andy, world famous artist, Pope of a following of gay hustlers, junkies, drag queens, socialites, and rock stars...or are they?
Uncle Andy to his family comes off as being more cute than threatening, with 25 cats named Sam, a house full of neat junk, and zillions of funny wigs. He's not even the only artist in the family! This is one sweet book. I kid you not
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