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.
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 (né 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)