Monday, April 25, 2016

Uncle Andy's: A Faabbbulous Visit With Andy Warhol by James Warhola (Picture Book Biographies from A to Z - Letter U)

Uncle Andy's: A Faabbbulous Visit With Andy Warhol 
by James Warhola
2003. G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers.


Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was an American artist who was a leading figure in the pop art movement. (I could not find a picture book biography for someone whose first or last name began with U, so for the purposes of this challenge, U is for Uncle Andy Warhol.)


Told by Warhol's nephew, James Warhola, this book relates a story of August 1962, when young James and his family (parents Paulie and Eva and siblings Mary Lou, Georgie, Maddie, and Marty) visit their Uncle Andy Warhol at his apartment. Their visit occured during the same year that Warhol had his first solo exhibition.

About the Illustrations

The illustration style really reminded me of Richard Egielski's pictures for The Tub People. The images are infused with humor, such as when Uncle Andy is seen by the children without his wig, and with details kids find interesting, such as the 5-story interior view of Uncle Andy's apartment. The pictures really capture the excitement of young James's experience, and the quirkiness of Warhol himself.

Author's Note

The story begins with an author's note, which gives a little bit of background information and sets up the family anecdote to follow. This is an effective way to introduce the book, which is more of a memoir than a strict biography. 

Additional Comments

This book is definitely non-fiction, but I'm not sure I would call it a biography in the traditional sense since it is really more of a family memoir. Still, since much of Andy Warhol's biographical details might not be appropriate for young children, this seems like the ideal way to introduce his offbeat art and personality to the picture book audience - through the eyes of a child who happens to be related to the artist.

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