Roll up! Roll up!

Wherever you are in the world, you are cordially invited to join us in celebrating all things bookish and delicious by taking part in the inaugural Playing By The Book International Edible Book Festival!

Edible book festivals have been taking place around the world since 1999, but as there are none near me I have decided to host an online festival for all of us who can’t get to a local edible book festival.

I am honoured and utterly delighted to announce that none other than Emma Chichester Clark, one of Britain’s most distinguished illustrators, is this year’s Festival Patron! I invited Emma to be the festival’s patron after reading her wonderful new book, Lulu and the Best Cake Ever (which I reviewed recently). If you love great children’s books and cake in equal measure, this book will be right up your street!

The Edible Book I made having read Lulu and the Best Cake Ever

Entry information

To enter the festival you should create an edible book, take two photos of it and email them to me, by Friday March 16 2012 (please feel free to email me your pictures any time before then – it would be helpful if you didn’t leave it until March the 16th if possible).

NB One of your photos should include something that “time dates” the photo eg a newspaper, your computer monitor with this page in the background etc. This is to ensure that no-one submits photos of cakes they have simply found on the web. Your second photo should be the best photo you can take of your cake. I will use this photo in an online gallery of all submitted cakes.

In your submission email please include the title/author/illustrator of the book on which your edible book is based, and a sentence or two about what in particular inspired your edible book.

Children can enter, families can enter, bakers can enter. Even authors and illustrators can enter (maybe you’ll create an edible version of one of your printed books 😉 ). Do you run a children’s bookshop? Or library? Your customers (and you!) could enter… Are you a teacher? Maybe your pupils would like to enter?

Entries are welcome from all over the world, based on children’s books in any language. The only people who aren’t eligible to enter this competition are Mélanie (one of the competition judges – see below) and myself.

Each family may enter up to two edible books to the festival.

What is an edible book?

Your creation can be anything as long as it is (theoretically) edible and is somehow children’s literature related.

For example, it could (1) look like a book, (2) be inspired by the content of a book, (3) look like a book character or be based on a book’s text – really, anything goes as long as there is a children’s book connection. Your edible book can be sweet or savoury, and whilst we won’t be judging based on taste, your edible book must be made out of edible ingredients. You might find inspiration on my Pinterest Edible Books board.

What we’re looking for is creativity and fun. We won’t be awarding prizes on the basis of who can ice a cake the most neatly!


I will create an anonymous online gallery of all entries. The gallery will be open for public viewing (ie by you, your friends, book-and-cake lovers around the world) from Monday 19 March until late night viewing ends on Friday 23 March.

The marvellous Mélanie, who blogs at Library Mice, will view the online gallery and shortlist 10 cakes. Emma Chichester Clark will then select the 3 winners from this shortlist. As Mélanie and Emma will not know who submitted which cake, their decision will be impartial and final.

Shortlisted cakes will only be announced after the winning three have been announced.

Winners will be announced on Monday 26 March 2012, when I will also host a link-up for all bloggers who took part and who wish to write a post about their entry to the festival. If you do wish to write a blog post about your Edible Book, please do not make it public before March 26 (in the interest of impartial judging I’d like there to be no way for the judges to know who created which Edible Book, until all judging has taken place).


1st prize – An original drawing of Lulu and her best friend Alfie by Emma Chichester Clark PLUS a signed copy of Lulu and the Best Cake Ever PLUS 5 other picture book titles from Harper Collins, to be selected from the list below.

2nd Prize – A signed copy of Lulu and the Best Cake Ever PLUS 5 other picture book titles from Harper Collins, to be selected from the list below.

3rd Prize – A signed copy of Lulu and the Best Cake Ever.

1st and 2nd prize winners can choose 5 books from this list:

  • The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon
  • The Lorax by Dr Seuss
  • Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School by David Mackintosh
  • Meerkat Madness by Ian Whybrow
  • Casper Candlewacks in Death by Pigeon by Ivan Brett
  • Department 19 by Will Hill
  • Hello Kitty Super Sparkly Sticker Book
  • Love Monster by Rachel Bright
  • My Henry by Judith Kerr
  • Penguin Pandemonium by Jeanne Willis
  • The Peppers by Sian Pattenden
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth

  • Spreading the word

    You can repost the poster image above for a quick blog post about the International Edible Book Festival – simply right click to save it on to your computer, and then upload it like any other image to your blog. The web poster is 450px wide.

    If you work in a library or a school and would like to encourage readers, staff, or students to enter, you can download an A4 poster advertising the International Edible Book Festival. Click here for the pdf file.

    You can use this button (above) in your blog’s side bar. If downloading / uploading the image is too complicated, you should be able to get it to appear in your blog by copying and pasting this text wherever you wish the button to appear:

    <a href=""><img src="" /></a>

    Most importantly…

    Anyone, anywhere may enter the festival (apart from M̩lanie and me). You do not need to be a blogger, and you certainly do not need to be a pastry chef or a master baker. You can enter as an adult or a child or as a family Рthe most important thing is just to give it a go! This festival is about having fun, being creative, and just maybe having something nice to eat at the end of it all.

    Any questions? Get in touch via email, I look forward to lots of you joining in!

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