Smile Politely

Eating your words: The 10th Annual Edible Book Festival

The 10th Annual Edible Book Festival took place at the University YMCA last week. This international celebration of the edible and the literary has been taking place around April 1st since 2000. The general public was invited to submit their best attempts at making the literary edible, and with a variety of entry categories and the promise of prizes, creativity and humor reigned supreme among the 18 entries. This year’s special category was Best Entry Shaped like a Book, Scroll, eReader, or Other Reading Format, which seems easy, but as you’ll see, a bit harder to do well. The judges improvised and created a couple of awards: Best Commercial Entry (from a retail bakery) and Best Non-Dessert Entry. The People’s Choice award was selected by the number of sticker votes an entry received (as evidenced by the smiley face stickers on each entry card)—each person was given two votes.

The sizable crowd consisted mainly of adults, and, as a librarian friend pointed out to me, mainly of librarians. I was inclined to think that an event heavy with such whimsy might attract people with young children, but there were only a few (fully supervised) children in crowd. Likewise, there weren’t all that many college students, outside of those who submitted edibles.

This year’s judges were Viktoria Ford, artist and retired elementary art teacher; Paula Kaufman, Interim Director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs; and Merilyn Shepherd, 4-H Leader and Instructor at Danville Community College. These women had a tough task in naming the winners—there were plenty of excellent entries. Donations for prizes were made by Dallas and Company, UIUC’s Rare Books and Manuscript Library, Espresso Royale, and UIUC’s Center for Children’s Books.

After the awards were given, the entries were eaten, which brings a whole new meaning to voraciously consuming books.

Below you’ll find a photograph of most entries, and all of the winners are noted. Be sure to mark your calendar for next year’s event, and you can follow the festival on Facebook for updates, entry information, and photos.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins | Best Visual Presentation

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress

The Figgiest Vampire

Moo, Baa, La La La [audiobook]

Pages from the Multilingual Reference Shelf

Taming of the Stew | improvised award by judges: Best Non-Dessert Entry

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland | Best Depiction of a Classic

Tequila Mockingbird | Funniest/Punniest (it’s worth noting here that the prize for this award was a rubber chicken) and People’s Choice

Maize: Cultivation, Uses and Health Benefits | Most Appetizing

Tis Pity She’s a S’more | Best Collaborative Creation

Bride and Prejudice | Best Entry Shaped like a Book, Scroll, eReader, or Other Reading Format

The Giving Tree

Harold and the Purple Crayon | Best Entry Based on Book for Children or Teens

Horton Hears a Who! | improvised award by judges: Best Commercial Entry (from a commercial bakery, cake by Cream & Flutter)

Blender’s Game

October Pies


All photos by Jessica Hammie.

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