Edible Book Festival puts creative spin on reading


Analicia Haynes

Alice Dick, a Charleston resident, shows her old Library teacher Michele McDaniel her and her sister’s entry for the Edible Book Festival Monday afternoon in Booth Library. Dick and her sister Abelynn said they were very proud of their work and Alice said her favorite part about reading was finding out what happens in the end.

Analicia Haynes, Managing Editor

The Marvin Foyer inside Booth Library smelled like a bakery Monday afternoon as faculty, students and community members judged entries for the eighth annual Edible Book Festival.

The festival kicked off National Library Week and featured “edible” displays that depicted several books including the “Harry Potter” series, “A Wrinkle in Time” and “The Giving Tree.”

Debbie Meadows, a registration coordinator in Blair Hall, was with her three grandchildren who entered two displays.

Meadows said her grandchildren have participated in the festival every year, and this was the fourth year for them.

Abelynn Dick and her sister Alice are both from Charleston and worked together with their grandma (Meadows) on their entry, which was inspired by the novel “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle.

“My dad likes to read it to me at night, so I chose this book, and I thought it would be a good idea to do a wrinkled clock,” Abelynn said regarding the reason why she picked “A Wrinkle in Time” to base her creation off of. “It’s a really good book.”

Their design was made out of Rice Krispie treats, fondant and different colored Twizzlers that were used to represent the hands and numbers on a clock. 

They said they were very proud of their work, and Abelynn said her favorite part about participating in the festival every year is making her displays.

“I like to cook things so I want to cook when I’m older,” Abelynn said.

When it comes to books though, Abelynn and Alice said their favorite part about reading is figuring out what happens at the end.

Haley Ingram, a special education and early childhood education major, decided to participate in the festival since Ingram already works in the library.

Ingram said the festival is a good way to bring not just the Eastern community together, but the Charleston community as well.

“It’s a great way to just interact with people you might not have thought to interact with. You’re interacting with so many people with so many creative ideas,” Ingram said.

Ingram’s display represented “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, a favorite childhood book.

“It’s just a story of love and giving and taking, and I just wanted to create that,” Ingram said.

Ingram said the festival is a way to incorporate the love of books and learning into a creative and fun aspect.

“A lot of people have this stigma that reading books is nerdy and boring, and this just proves otherwise,” Ingram said.

After spending days figuring out what to create, Ingram used a glass cake pan so people could see the small layer of chocolate cake that represented the roots of the “tree.” After adding a layer of “green grass,” Ingram used Rice Krispie treats to create the brown, chocolate frosted tree stump that sat on top of the thin layer of cake.

Ingram used frosting to create the grass on her display and apple slices to show that it was an apple tree.

As a student, Ingram said the festival helped her grow by understanding how to manage time and think creatively.

“It’s so hard to forget as a student that you can’t just follow the road in front of you, you have to be creative as well, otherwise you’re just going to be a sheep in a flock,” Ingram said.

Bill Schultz, a cataloging librarian in Booth, looked at each display with his young son Henry.

After voting for their favorite display, Schultz said it was fun bringing his son to the festival because he knew some of the books.

“It’s definitely nice for him, and there’s a lot of good entries this year,” Schultz said.

Two displays won the Judge’s Choice Award and the People’s Choice Award, and there were two Honorable Mentions.

Katie Jenkins, senior biological sciences major, won the People’s Choice Award for her display, which was based on “Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket” by Barbara Park.

She used blue fondant to create overalls with a pocket and a yellow peep sticking out of the pocket to represent a chick.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].