March 14, 2011 | Theo Voss

Winnie the Pooh won the Most Literary award

Most books are made to be read, but this year Lois Dye is encouraging everyone to bake books, or more precisely, to bake creative representations of books.

The event: the second annual Books in the Baking Book Festival taking place on April 1st in the Hekman Library.  Dye, the library’s curriculum coordinator and the organizer of the event, said Books in the Baking shows people the “creative, fun side” of the library. She was inspired by edible book festivals that she’s attended as well as her love of food and books.

The festival is open to anyone who wishes to enter or attend. Attendees of the festival get to vote for the people’s choice award as well as help reduce the pieces to crumbs after the submissions are enjoyed as works of art—and the judging is finished.

While a participant from last year’s Books in the Baking festival, sophomore Paula Manni, said, “It made me kind of sad to see everyone's work eaten,” according to one of this year’s judges, Rod Middlebrook, “baked goods are made to eat, not to keep.”

Middlebrook, a baking expert who works for Creative Dining at Calvin, is joined by Glenn Remelts, the library director, to judge the contest categories of most literary, most creative, and most book-like.

Anyone who submits an edible book will be awarded a small prize, and there will be larger prizes for each category winner. Participants are asked to register their pieces before the festival. The book that inspired each edible book, and a sign describing the creation will be displayed with the piece.

Last year Karin Maag, the director of the Meeter Center, baked gingerbread cuneiform tablets and won the Most Unique prize. She had the help of her best friend Susanna Phillippo, a visiting classics professor. Maag said one pitfall of baking was “making sure that we did not eat up too many of the cookies before the big day.”

Manni won People’s Choice last year for her gingerbread depiction of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. “I found it really relaxing to get lost in the creative process,” she says.

Other participants made If you Give a Mouse a Cookie out of cake and cookies, “Rumbly in my Tumbly” (the title of a song based on Winnie the Pooh) out of cake and cupcakes and The Very Hungry Caterpillar out of cupcakes. Other pieces featured the Bible, The Scarlet Letter, The Mitten, and the Life of Pi.

Manni and Maag are both planning on baking again this year but have not decided on their inspiration yet.

Registration forms for Books in the Baking can be found on the second floor of the library.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

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