Abramson's striking color photographs of the pop artist ``in situ'' form a dazzling context for this look at a contemporary master's life and work. But despite its cartoonish appearance, Lichtenstein's art rests on allusions to art history and cultural icons, and on irony, all of which will escape most children. Furthermore, the text never matches the immediacy of this artist's visuals: Walker's descriptions of Lichtenstein's painstaking techniques are dull, and the artist's own comments mirror the obliqueness of his work (``I realized the bigger they his Interiors paintings were, the more amusing they were''). A full spread of ``Some Well-Known Works,'' presented without explanation, furthers the impression that this book celebrates Lichtenstein's marketability more than his creative processes. A brief glossary of techniques and an ``art lesson'' complete the presentation. Ages 8-12. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-6-Bravo to a stellar author/photographer team for this superb effort. The vibrant text, illustrated with stunning, full-color photographs, discusses the artist's busy life, work in progress, studio, techniques, and well-known paintings. Walker and Abramson talk with and photograph Lichtenstein while he works, resulting in a book that is lively, authentic, intimate, and highly informative. Many of his comments and explanations are interspersed throughout the text. He is shown using his tools and conceiving and executing his ideas. Photos and text are extremely well integrated. Origins of Pop art are given. Lichtenstein shares his artistic philosophy, and even offers youngsters a lesson to help them free their imaginations. An inspiring portrait of an artist for students and a wonderful introduction to his world.-Barbara Peklo Abrahams, Oneida City Schools, Manlius, NY
The best thing about this book is its dynamite photographs. Crystal clear and in brilliant full color, they capture one of pop art's most prominent figures in his studio while tendering a glimpse at some of his intriguing work. Lichtenstein's approach to art and his technique, which Walker describes in some detail, are the heart of the book. There are a few direct quotes and some scraps of personal information--for example, we find out that Lichtenstein is married, has two sons, is "passionate about being at work," and has "carefully studied artists throughout the ages"--but report writers looking for biographical material won't find enough here to satisfy them. That's unfortunate, because with such fascinating photos and art reproductions spread before them, kids will surely come away disappointed that the man behind the extraordinary pictures still remains very much a mystery.