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Program Type: Speaker, Books/Writing

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The Hancock County Public Library will launch its new children's library card, illustrated by Chris Sickels, when he presents his latest picture book, Elvis is King! A signing takes place after the program with books available for sale.

Following the event, visitors can see the sculpture Sickels created as an illustration for the new library card and stop by the front information desk with an option to swap their current card for the new design.

Sickels is a Greenfield-based illustrator who publishes his work under the name Red Nose Studio. He'll explain how he sculpted 3-D figures and elaborate scenes for the book from clay, wood, wire, paper, paint, and an eclectic collection of found objects, bringing images to life "with textures, light and elbow grease."

A type of alchemy, which has earned Sickels national recognition, occurs when he photographs a scene as the final step in an illustration. The lighting, figures and background morph into a fascinating, alternate reality straight from Sickels' artistic sensibility.

His work has appeared in the "New York Times" and the "Wall Street Journal" and as a poster for the New York City subway. He has been awarded three gold medals and one silver by the "Society of Illustrators."

Sickels has also illustrated four previous books: Young Hoosier nominee "Here Comes the Garbage Barge" (four starred reviews, New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award), "The Beginner’s Guide to Running Away from Home," "The Look Book," and "The Secret Subway" (3 starred reviews, Amazon Best Children's Book of 2016).

Reviews for "Elvis is King":

“Reality and fantasy blend together in the cinematically styled and lit compositions: when young Presley first hears gospel music coming from a rural African-American church “on a dusty road,” the building seems to ascend to heaven on wings.” — Publishers Weekly

"Stylized, information-packed narration broken into single-page “chapters” provides the platform for Red Nose Studio’s (aka Chris Sickels) eye-grabbing art. Information included inside the book jacket shows how he builds small, theater-like sets from cardboard, wire, fabric, and found objects and characters’ heads out of polymer clay, then photographs them from various perspectives—from feet under a table in a diner to Elvis and his girlfriend sitting on a neon sign above the city. –Kirkus Reviews 

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