Reviews for Uncle Andy's : A Faabbbulous Visit With Andy Warhol


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 February 2003
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. ((Reviewed February 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Fall
When young Jamie and his family visit his uncle Andy Warhol in New York City, they go to a child's paradise: a house so filled with junk that it's ""just like a giant amusement park."" James Warhola, Warhol's nephew, uses a conversational style and childlike precision to describe a visit in 1962. The watercolors are full of details and glimpses of art stacked against the walls. Andy remains enigmatic--but his influence on would-be artist Jamie is clear. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2003 #2
Whenever seven-year-old Jamie and his family visit his eccentric uncle Andy in New York City, they go to a childÆs paradise: a four-story house so filled with junk that itÆs ôjust like a giant amusement park.ö Uncle Andy assures them, however, that his junk is art. And youÆd better believe it, because Uncle Andy is Andy Warhol. In his debut as a writer, James Warhola uses a conversational style and childlike precision to describe one particular visit in 1962, when Warhol had recently made the transition from illustrator to fine artist. The watercolor illustrations are full of details (count WarholÆs twenty-five cats throughout) and glimpses of WarholÆs art stacked against the walls. An early spread showing the family arriving in Manhattan in their beat-up station wagon brilliantly emphasizes the riot of advertising and repeating signage that inspired WarholÆs work. WeÆve all read picture-book biographies of artists told by a visiting child, but this one is a refreshing change: the child is neither fictional nor a convenient literary device. Sure, we learn a few things about Warhol, but we learn just as much about Jamie and his family. There are some choice tidbits, like the morning they hear Uncle Andy shriek because his niece Maddie has come into his room before heÆs put his wig on. In the end, Andy himself remains rather enigmaticùlaconic and not given to speaking much outside the occasional faabbbulous. But his influence on Jamie, the would-be artist, is clear. During the visit Andy lets him help with a painting and gives him a box of art supplies when he leaves. Finally, this book celebrates freedom from convention and makes a good case for how important that can beùat least from time to timeùin the life of any child, not just a budding artist. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2003 March #2
Playfully reminiscing about a surprise visit to his famous relative in the early 1960s, Warhola (The Bear Came Over to My House, not reviewed, etc.) not only gives readers a decidedly tongue-in-cheek glimpse of the Pop Art icon at work, but illuminates the beginning of his own artistic career too. After paying tribute to his father, a scrap-metal sorter who delighted in bringing home interesting junk, Warhola recalls piling into the station wagon with his six siblings for the long ride to New York, then bursting into the townhouse shared by Andy Warhol (n Warhola), his mother, 25 cats named "Sam," and an enthralling clutter of cookie jars, carousel figures, painted soup cartons and portraits of celebrities. A skinny, inarticulate figure, topped by opaque shades and that trademark wig (except for one hilarious scene in which he's surprised in bed), Warhol positively exudes remote urban chic, in amusing contrast to his countrified visitors. But though he seems totally absorbed in his own world, there are gifts for everyone in the family when it's time to leave, including a box of art supplies for James, who is last seen putting them to good use back home. The author renders people and clutter in exact, loving detail, most notably in a showstopping, full-building cutaway of Warhol's house. Having seen his uncle make "regular stuff like soup cans, pop bottles, and money look like real art!," young Warhola concludes, "art is something that is all around us, all of the time." A faabbbulous idea for young readers to consider, captivatingly presented. (Picture book. 7-9) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 January #4
Warhola (If You Hopped Like a Frog), a nephew of pop art's premier icon, provides an outrageously prosaic chapter from his uncle's ultra-hip life. "Jamie's" first-person anecdote begins at his cluttered, blue-collar home, in rural Pennsylvania in August 1962. Paul, Jamie's father and also Andy Warhol's oldest brother, is a heavy-set man in oily overalls who works at the scrap yard and tinkers with metal. "One day, Dad came home from work and announced, `It's time to visit Bubba [grandmother] and Uncle Andy in the big city.' " Jamie, his parents and five siblings pile into a battered station wagon and head to Manhattan. They arrive unannounced and bearing gifts ("Dad always remembered to bring Uncle Andy something interesting from the junkyard. This time it was a giant magnet"). Warhola points out the similarities between the artist and the "junkman"; Andy, like Jamie's father, is a pack rat who collects carnival memorabilia and shoes, and paints soup cans. The author portrays himself and his siblings doing chores for his uncle ("He let me help him with his giant paint-by-number sailboat painting"), and cramping Andy's style by waking him early and catching him without his wig ("Of course, we all knew Uncle Andy was bald, just like Dad and Uncle John"). Warhola suggests that despite superficial differences, his quirky family and cosmopolitan uncle are not so far removed, and his distinctly un-glamorous account bridges the perceived culture gap (albeit leaving out sex, drugs and the Factory social whirl). This volume may speak best to readers who know the Warhol legend, but Uncle Andy's support of his budding-artist nephew will strike a universal chord. Ages 5-up. (Apr.) FYI: Warhola is the subject of an interview in Children's Books, p. 123. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 October #2

"Warhola, a nephew of pop art's premier icon, provides an outrageously prosaic chapter from his uncle's ultra-hip life," wrote PW . Ages 5-up. (Sept.)

[Page 64]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2003 April
Gr 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.

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