Edible Book Festivals

So. I’m still friends with my college library. Like, we’re serious BFFs. My alma mater has less than 1,500 students each year ( although I don’t know the actual count), and many graduates  stay in the area. I practically lived in the library as an undergrad (as both a worker and a reader). Even though several of the librarians have retired or moved on since I graduated in ’06, I’m friends with the new librarians from, um, being in there all the time as a grad student. 🙂 They’ve started a really awesome tradition that I have to share: the “Edible Book Festival.” Typically, this means cake/edible item designed like a book, book character, etc. The creativity of the people involved in this was absolutely awesome. The Milligan Library already got a lot of press here and here (oh gosh, the Johnson City Press has my Pigeon cake showing first thing…) and they’ve even had someone from Thailand email the coordinator, so really, this is just for my own pleasure that I’m writing this, and ya know, the whole teacher thing, had to throw out an idea for everyone. I did something similar to this my senior year in high school.  Nowadays, teachers aren’t *really* allowed to have “parties.” So… we come up with different names for our parties.  My English teacher gave us a grade for bringing desserts/other food  representing the books we read senior year.  When I was in school, I either procrastinated or went overboard. In this instance, I procrastinated on one paper in order to go overboard on this creative project.  We read Cry, the Beloved Country  about South Africa and I made a gingerbread house from the “shanty town.”  Between me and my mother (who added a few things after I went to bed?) we did go overboard on the symbolism (“the house is covered in gummy worms because the shanty towns were so crowded,” etc). My classmates were a little mad at me.  “Well… here are some cookies shaped like bells… because there was a bell in this story.”  Except there were about five people who brought cookies in that fashion. So, here’s what I’m trying to tell you, teachers, parents, etc.: If you want to get away with having a “party” in class, call it an edible book festival. My English teacher didn’t, but it was very similar.  And so you don’t have bell-shaped cookies (not even sure which story that was from), here are some ideas! Here are of my favorite cakes/edible items from the festival, swiped from facebook:






I also read this my senior year of high school. That would have been brilliant for Book Day.











This is just funny. Or punny. Whichever. It actually was a close second in “Funniest/Punniest.”








Where’s Waldough? (Won Most Creative.)










This is my cake, titled “Don’t let the Pigeon eat the cake!.  As you can tell, I don’t decorate cakes very often, but once I had the idea I knew I had to do it. I love Mo Willems, I love Pigeon, and I’m trying to do a project a week this year. This counts as a project. Also, this is done in the spirit that I did the  Cake Wrecks decorating contest in that I did it for fun, not for the glory. (However, I almost made a deliberate wreck and would have brought my book to share as a joke, but that’s beside the point.)  The others put way more effort into this than I did. The photo looks better than the actual cake. 🙂 Also note the beautiful brown plate.  Imagine stacks of these dishes in the sink. You’ve now seen my kitchen. I kid, I kid.















The librarian who coordinated this had a very enthusiastic daughter who baked and decorated a lot for the festival. Her daughter, who is either in 8th or 9th grade, made this. What!  (Her daughter also did Where’s Waldough, above.) The Hunger Games cake won “Most Booklike.”  Stunning cake.

pigs in heaven







I’ve never read this book, but I wanted to show that Edible Books doesn’t have to be dessert form. This also won “Most Funniest/Punniest.” So, there you have it. A fun way to incorporate food into your English class’s par– well, you know what I mean.



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2 responses to “Edible Book Festivals

  1. Thank you so much for writing this! I would have LOVED to have been there. This is such a fantastic idea.


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