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Edible Book Festival a Success at Langsam

Date: April 2, 2002
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos by Colleen Kelley
Archive: General News

Participants in an event at Langsam Library April 1 discovered an entirely new way of devouring a "good" book. First they praised the works, then they ate them.

Leaves of Lettuce, Rack of Grahams and a Girl Scout "Hand" Book were among the tomes displayed as University Libraries joined the third annual International Edible Book Festival. The event took place in the Langsam staff lounge.

Book artists in the United States, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Spain participated in the event at the same time as the Langsam Libraries staff. Around the world, the books went on display, and at high tea time (4 p.m. Cincinnati time) were consumed.

"The baklava was really good," said Engineering Professor John Franco, as he sampled the servings with his wife, Suzanne. The baklava was one of the more elaborate edible books, titled Greek Recipes, and created by libraries administrative assistant Candice Ferguson.

The staff of Training and Educational Services (TES) submitted Horn Book, a charming cake with letters and numbers. The display was an educational piece, as accompanying literature explained that the Horn Book was used as a tool to teach children how to read. Horn Books also displayed the 10 numerals and the Lord's Prayer. Elaine Ignatius and Rack of Grahams

The Rack of Grahams, made by library media technical assistant Elaine Ignatius, featured a miniature bookcase that held rows of little books, the covers made of chocolate, the pages of graham crackers.

Speaking of chocolate, Information Commons coordinator Pam Bach's Leaves of Lettuce tempted the sweet tooth with rich, dark chocolate. "I used lettuce as the mold by freezing the lettuce leaves and pressing them against the melted chocolate."

Mark Palkovic, associate senior librarian and head of CCM Library, created an appetizer, main course and dessert. His creation, A Tortilla Poem, featured a book cover made of a flour tortilla, "pages" of ham, cheese and lettuce, and a book binding of black licorice. Alpha Bits cereal spelled out his titles. Erika Taibl and the Jungle Book

Erika Taibl, associate public information officer for University Libraries, used chocolate frosted almond cake and sugar cookies for a pop-up version of The Jungle Book. Daphne Miller, head of bibliographic access, "authored" the pop-up Girl Scout Hand Book with sugar cookie hand cutouts, the Girl Scout's green and white icing, and the signature Girl Scout cookie in the middle of the "pages."

Girl Scout Hand Book

Senior Libraries administration assistant Rosemary Einhaus' display at the end of the table brought back beloved childhood memories, as the signature tall red-and-white striped hat and white gloves from Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat were placed alongside a plate of Green Eggs and Ham featuring green-dyed hard boiled eggs and sliced honey ham.

Green Eggs and Ham

Every display was a visual and tasty delight. Cheri Matchen's Burrito Books looked like a watercolor painting, and John Tallmadge's 13 Ways of Looking at a Tortilla held 13 written pages, as he paid tribute to a real poem.

The event showcased the creativity of the Libraries staff, plus served as a fund-raiser to support a recognition program for the student employees of University Libraries. The tea may also garner international attention for University Libraries. Photos will be submitted to publisher Umbrella Editions, which will compare events from around the world and possibly feature the most visual displays in a new book -- only to be viewed, not eaten.

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