Edible Book Festival

This is an edible rendition of Miles Harvey’s “The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime.” You’ll see other such creations Thursday at Teton County Library’s Edible Books Festival.

You can have your book and eat it, too, at Thursday’s Edible Book Festival.

From 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Teton County Library will host its inaugural festival, part of a series of like-minded events taking place across the globe this month. The Jackson event is also an opportunity to welcome new Library Director Dawn Jenkin.

The sky’s the limit for what an “edible book” can be: a replication of a book cover, a pun on a book title, a reproduction of a book character — you name it.

Nancy Drew’s magnifying glass? Green eggs and ham? A giant peach a la Roald Dahl? Maybe try out a cookie a mouse would eat or chocolate from Charlie’s chocolate factory. It’s up for you to decide what your creation will look like. Non-cooks are also encouraged to attend to see and eat the creations.

And though library staff are keeping their ideas close, Communications and Digital Media Specialist Diana Eden said she did know “one staff member was looking for a pig cookie cutter.”

The Edible Book Festival began in 2000 as a collaboration between California art librarian Judith Hoffberg and artist Beatrice Coron. It’s usually held on or around April 1, but it’s not meant to be a joke. Rather, it’s intended to celebrate the birthday of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, an 18th-century food writing pioneer.

Adult Services Manager Angela Jordan previously ran the event like this at a library in Butte, Montana.

“She was way excited to get it started here,” Eden said. “It’s such a fun event because it brings together two things that people really geek out about. It’s new for us, so we can’t wait to see what people are going to make.”

Creations are photographed, viewed by attendees, judged by a panel and consumed. Entries are commonly made from cake, bread, crackers, Jell-O, fruit, vegetables, candy and anything that doesn’t require consistent refrigeration. Don’t make an ice cream cake. You’ll regret it.

If you’re stumped, Eden suggests browsing the library’s stacks.

“I came away with three different ideas,” she said. “When you’re actually looking at titles from that perspective or just cover art, it gives you ideas that you wouldn’t have if you weren’t actually looking at the books.”

Prizes will be awarded for People’s Choice, Funniest and Punniest, Best Savory Entry and Best Sweet Entry.

Registration isn’t required, but it can help to sign up in advance at Bit.ly/2G2JLyw.

Participants should drop off their entries in the library’s Ordway Auditorium on Thursday between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Judging, photography and public viewing and voting will occur between 4:30 and 5 p.m., with a judges welcome, awards and book eating to follow.

The Edible Book Festival is part of “Love Your Library Week.” Earlier this week a “Love Your Tech” open house helped entrepreneurs, nonprofits and individuals up their game with free classes and online resources.

Tonight families are invited to see the PBS film “Biblioburro” at 6 and stay after for a visit with its star, Luis Soriano. Soriano started a library service in rural Colombia with the help of two burros, who won’t be in attendance.

There’s also an event Friday you won’t want to miss. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Teton County Library Foundation and Friends will hand out free cookies and books by author Susan Orlean, who is the library’s next Page to the Podium author. Orlean will visit in August.

In a press release, Jenkin, whose tenure as the library’s new director begain in February, spoke about “Love Your Library Week” as a community building event.

“Now that I’m experiencing my first offseason in Jackson, I see how close-knit this community really is,” she said.

“Love Your Library Week invites all the locals in, and reflects a favorite quote of mine by Doris Lessing: ‘With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates.

“It is the most democratic of institutions because no one — but no one at all — can tell you what to read and when and how.’”

As part of that library appreciation week, Edible Books Festival follows in that tradition. On Thursday, no one can tell you what to eat or when or how. 

Contact Kylie Mohr at 732-7079 or schools@jhnewsandguide.com.

Kylie Mohr covers the education and health beats. Mohr grew up in Washington and came to Wyoming via Georgetown. She loves seeing the starry night sky again.

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