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.
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 CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved