Ever heard of Ray Bradbury’s The Marzipan Chronicles? How about the toddler classic, Goodnight Moonpie? If you have, then you are no doubt already a fan of the Edible Book Festival, the annual international celebration of literature.
Five years ago Central Elementary School librarian Teri Lockhart (Haywood C0unty, North Carolina) heard about this festival, in which individuals or teams create edible representations of favorite books. “I knew our students would love it, and they have,” explains Lockhart. In fact, the local event has been so successful that this year, Lockhart is teaming up with Haywood County librarian Carole Dennis to open the event to the entire community. Entries from contestants of all ages will be accepted at the Waynesville branch of the Haywood County library during library hours on Friday, April 1, and displayed for the public on Saturday, April 2, from 10 am – 2 pm. “We hope to see entries from kids, families, youth groups, and adults,” says Lockhart.
The festival’s official website, books2eat.com, offers official guidelines (“Try to incorporate words from the text”) as well as a horde of fabulous pictures from years gone by. Some entries have are straight-forward: a spaghetti fur cat peeking over the brim of a read-and-white striped top hat (Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat) or a cupcake mushroom topped with a blue icing-covered pole bean caterpillar, sprouting from the confectionary pages of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Other entries have incorporated a fun play on words: Goodnight Moonpie depicts a chocolate-marshmallow snack cake snuggled under fruit roll covers, tucked into a pretzel/cookie bed; the board book sits next to the bed.
“The idea is to interpret your book in any way,” Lockhart says, “as long as all the ingredients used are edible.” Thinking back on student entries from Central Elementary, the librarian fondly remembers a Wright Brothers’ plane made from sausage and graham crackers landing on brown sugar sand, and a very hungry caterpillar assembled from green iced cupcakes.
“I often work closely with classes during their time in the media center, depending on the teachers’ class loads,” explains Lockhart. So far she has found the project “inspires developing readers. It’s fun, plus the kids get to eat their creations after we’re done.”
As a mom of two bibliophiles, I’m already scouring my kids’ bookshelves for possible titles. We’ve just recently finished a fabulous adventure series . . . I’m thinking “Prosciutto Jackson and the Lightening Thief.”
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