cover image Roy’s House

Roy’s House

Susan Goldman Rubin. Chronicle, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4521-1185-8

Roy Lichtenstein’s dramatic blowups of comic book fragments served as ironic commentary on high art, but Rubin (Stand There! She Shouted: The Invincible Photographer Julia Margaret Cameron) interprets them as a child would, seeing a painting of a rotary phone as an invitation: “In Roy’s house, a telephone rings. Company is coming!” A contemporary sectional in a painted living room is “a great big couch. There is room for many friends.” The journey through the midcentury modern house continues to his studio: “Roy paints pictures here!” Rubin imagines readers participating in Lichtenstein’s work: “We can paint pictures too. Swoosh a stroke of yellow, drip, dripping on the floor.” The book’s most arresting image is one of two photos that accompany the author’s note. It shows Lichtenstein in jeans and a sweater vest at work on one of his huge canvases—a collision between the three-dimensional realness of the man versus the flattened cartoon art he’s painting. While the text doesn’t say much about why the artist painted the way he did, Rubin’s study provides a joyously uninhibited chance to inhabit Lichtensteinian space. Ages 3–5. (June)