Bite into a good book at Hunter Library

Hunter Library’s annual Edible Book contest brought books to life on Thursday – in the form of food!

The contest featured many well-known favorites such as Dr. Seuss’ ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ and Shel Silverstein’s ‘The Giving Tree’. Contestants created their masterpieces out of a variety of edible materials such as cake, candy and cereal. The creations were displayed in the library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The Peoples Choice winner, Kayleigh Perlotto. Photo by Haley Smith

The people’s choice winner, Kayleigh Perlotto, created a cake based on ‘The Princess and the Pea’. Photo by Haley Smith

Anyone was eligible to submit an entry and vote in the contest at no cost. Winners were chosen in four categories.

The “people’s choice” category was awarded to WCU student Kayleigh Perlotto for her representation of ‘The Princess and the Pea’ by Hans Christian Andersen. Perlotto won a $25 gift certificate to WCU’s bookstore.

“Spreading literary word is a prize enough in itself,” said Perlotto in an email message. “Winning was just the icing on the cake!”

Perlotto’s creation was a yellow cake with vanilla butter cream icing. The cake was then covered in fondant to make it easier to decorate.

The ‘best visual’ category winner was Shirley Beck, who crafted an owl-shaped cake, illustrating Carl Hiassen’s ‘Hoot’. Beck won a $20 gift certificate to City Lights bookstore.

JoAnn Marvel won the ‘most edibly appealing’ category for her edible adaptation of ‘Blueberries for Sal’ by Robert McCloskey. Marvel won a $10 gift card to the Point Coffee House.

Marvel’s cake was a blueberry bundt cake with powdered sugar on top.

The ‘most creative’ creation was deemed to be Shirley Finegan’s representation of ‘The Magic School Bus’. Finegan won $10 in tokens to the farmers market and a tote bag.

After the votes were tallied, anyone visiting the library could join in sampling the creations. As people sampled the foods, many seemed to agree that Marvel’s blueberry bundt cake was one of the best.

Contestants entered the contest for a variety of reasons, ranging from a love of books to a love of baking.

“Baking is my stress reliever, so when I heard about it I couldn’t help but enter [the contest, especially] considering the time of the semester!” said Perlotto.

The best visual winner, Shirley Beck, created an owl cake in representation of Hoot. Photo by Haley Smith

The best visual winner, Shirley Beck, created an owl cake in representation of ‘Hoot’. Photo by Haley Smith

More students submitted entries in the contest this year than they have in recent years according to Finegan, one of the university library technicians.

The library stopped holding the contest for several years, but it was revived roughly three years ago.

“In the past it was much larger,” said Finegan. “Different classes on campus would do their own entries.”

Finegan says the contest is growing larger each year and they hope to return it to its former success.

The contest was held in celebration of National Library Week, April 10-16.

Watch the video below to see all 15 contest entries and some of the highlights from the event.