cover image UNCLE ANDY'S: A Faabbbulous Visit with Andy Warhol

UNCLE ANDY'S: A Faabbbulous Visit with Andy Warhol

James Warhola, Author, James Warhola, Illustrator . Putnam $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-23869-7

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.