Library Edible Book Festival draws crowd


Bel Athey

Erin Sutherland along side Alex Curtis, both senior family and consumer sciences majors, vote for their favorite edible book on Monday in Booth Library for the Edible Book Festival.

Abbey Whittington, Entertainment Editor

Families and residents from the Charleston and Mattoon area as well as students and faculty filled Booth Library’s lobby for the Edible Book Festival on Monday as they looked at the many edible artworks.

Winners of each category included a book with the theme “Where the Wild Things Are,” for student entries, “How to Drain Your Flagon,” a spin from the book “How to Train Your Dragon,” for the funniest pun category, “Time & Again,” for the family entry, “Go Dog, Go” for the children’s book entry, “The Patchwork Quilt,” for people’s choice and “Horton Hears a Who” for the dean’s choice.

Heather Wohltman, winner of the funniest pun category and a former Booth Library employee who was laid off, had her mother, Alisa Wohltman, chief clerk in Alumni Services, and her grandmother, Connie Schaljl, to support her during the festival.

Heather Wohltman’s, “How to Drain Your Flagon,” had a dragon in a large body of water drinking mini vodka bottles.

Todd Bruns, who was in his sixth year of running the Edible Book Festival, said he had a hard time choosing his favorite edible artwork.

“This year I am impressed by the student entries,” Bruns said. “I really liked “Mr. McGregor’s Garden.”

Each edible artwork was a creative depiction of a play on the book’s title or cover or a scene from the book. Usually, there are gift cards given to the winners of the book festival, however, with the recent cutbacks and no budget from the state, the library gave winners certificates for each category.

Amanda Becker, a junior family and consumer sciences major, created an edible artwork for her class based on the book, “Up,” with frosting, fruit and graham crackers.

Becker said she chose the book because it is also a movie, and she thought a lot of kids would know what her artwork was.

Two other students who entered their edible artworks came up with their ideas from books they read with their children.

Jacquelyn Monroe, a senior dietetics major, made her edible artwork based off of the book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” and said it was a book she regularly reads with her children.

Tracy Dennis, a non-traditional dietetics major and mother of three, created “Princess and the Pizza,” and said her two daughters enjoyed the story.

Linda Goodman, a resident of Mattoon, made an extremely detailed cake depicting the Holy Bible. The Bible was white with gold lettering and a zipper with a rose placed on it. She won an overall honorable mention for her artwork.

“I am a home baker, and I make cakes for really good friends and family. My idea was to make a zippered book, and the cake looks like a bible that my folks gave me when I was a child,” Goodman said. “My bible was white, and it was trimmed in gold and it had a zipper. It was the first present my parents wrote in and gave to me and it has always been my family bible.”

Goodman baked the cake several weeks before the book festival and spent four days on the details of the Bible and the rose with fondant.

Goodman said Monday was the anniversary of her husband’s death, and she hoped the book festival would take her mind away from her loss.

Everyone who made an entry in the festival were very supportive of the other contestants while also being satisfied with their own artworks.


Abbey Whittington can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]