Smile Politely

The 11th Annual Edible Book Festival

The 11th Annual Edible Book Festival took place earlier this week. Sponsored by The University of Illinois Library, this yearly event celebrates reading and eating. Participants were able to submit their edible book ideas and then showcase their delectable designs at the University YMCA.

The event was established nationally in 2000 as a bit of an April Fool’s Day joke, and as such the event takes place on or close to April 1st every year. UIUC’s Library has been celebrating the event since 2006. Prize categories were standardized in 2009, but the judges are left with a little bit of room to improvise. Prizes aren’t all that fancy: travel coffee mugs, t-shirts, a rubber chicken. This year there were over twenty entries. It’s mostly an event for, of, and by adults — library folks, almost exclusively — but it could easily be adapted into something that encompasses the entire community. 

The event is pretty fun, and I wish that the University Library could partner with Urbana Free or Champaign Public to make this a family-friendly event. Surely some local businesses could sponsor a few decent prizes (do it for the kids!), and there could be different entry categories so the kiddos aren’t overshadowed by some baller pastry chef. Maybe 40 North or the Champaign or Urbana Parks Districts could get involved? 

Although the event was on a Monday afternoon, it was well attended, and the edible books were pretty cool. Check out my photos and the winners. For more information about the event, follow it on Facebook

Best Depiction of a Classic: Alice in Wonderland

Best Visual Presentation: Flowerball

Most Appetizing: If you give a mouse a cookie

Funniest/Punniest: Flan of the Cave Bear


Best Entry based on a book for kids or teens: Heidi


Best Collaboration: Catcher in the Rye

People’s Choice: Heidi


Best Execution: Tale of Two Berries

Healthiest Creation: Swamplandia

Best Deconstructed Entry: Life of Pi

Most socially responsible/eco-conscious: Global Warming

Even though the entries below didn’t win any prizes, they were still pretty great. Check out more images in the gallery below. 

[gallery edible_books_2016]

Top image from The Edible Book Festival Facebook page; all other photos by Jessica Hammie. 


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