The "fabulous" life of Andy Warhol is made accessible and understandable via this child-friendly look at the life and career of one of America's most recognizable painters.
Shy, sickly Andy spent many lonely hours resting in bed. Warhol's mother understood his uniqueness, and instead of forcing him to attend school, stand up to bullies or play sports, she unfailingly nurtured his talents and accepted and supported his interests. Andy attended art classes at the Carnegie Museum art school in Pittsburgh and was encouraged by teachers who also recognized his promise. Comics, movie magazines, glamorous superstars and luminous icons from his Eastern Orthodox parish church fueled his imagination. Christensen effectively re-imagines Warhol's unmistakable style for 21st-century kids while offering a developmentally appropriate take on Warhol's life. She focuses on his early graphic work and the exciting, transformative era of Pop Art. She conveys the explosive impact of his Campbell's soup cans and Marilyn as she discretely limns the early activities of "The Factory."
Though readers will need to consult the backmatter for the details of the more complex and tumultuous years from the mid-'60s to his death in 1987, they will find this a vital and exciting child-appropriate introduction to an American icon. (Picture book/biography. 6-9)Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
In an intimate biography of Andy Warhol, "Prince of Pop, King of Cool," Christensen spans a 30-year period--from the artist's upbringing in Pittsburgh to the height of his popularity in the 1960s--emphasizing a self-made rags-to-riches ascent. From early influences (religious icons, celebrities, comic books) and obstacles (including a disease that "caused muscle spasms and permanently blotchy skin" and relentless teasing) to his transition from commercial art to pop artist extraordinaire, Christensen's informal prose and heavily textured oil paintings, composed over photo collages, depict a man constantly absorbing everything around him and incorporating it into his art in a way that shocked and delighted the world. An author's note and a time line provide further detail into Warhol's later life. Ages 6-9. (May)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
Gr 3-6--Spanning Warhol's rise to fame, this thoughtful account begins and ends with brief, fictionalized scenes that take place in 1966, illuminating the pop artist's popularity and success in contrast to the challenges he overcame to achieve recognition. The bulk of the narrative is fact-based, tracing major milestones in Warhol's personal and professional life through well-organized chronological flashbacks that start from his early childhood in the 1930s and continue through his days as an art student and his entry into the world of commercial art. Throughout, he is portrayed as a sensitive soul, often ridiculed by his peers. The differences between fine and commercial art, and Warhol's success in melding the two styles, are addressed in a way that is easy to understand even for someone with no background in art history. Christensen skillfully conveys emotion and mood through vivid, bold collage illustrations, particularly notable in an image of Warhol sitting forward in his train seat as New York City comes into view, anticipation made clear through his posture alone. According to the illustration note, "the paintings in this book are replicas of Andy's paintings, intended to give the reader a sense of his work and to inspire a museum visit to view the true originals." In addition to being a useful resource for biography reports, the story of Warhol's artistic triumphs despite his social difficulties will prove inspirational for young readers who feel as if they don't quite fit in.--Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA[Page 95]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.