Literally. With eight books on display, students at Western Iowa Tech Community College had a chance to guess the title of the book and vote on their favorite before taking a bite out of literature. The school’s first-ever Edible Book Competition was organized thanks to eight students and faculty members so that finals weeks could run a lot smoother.
“It gives us an opportunity to share our love of reading and how books are important to us, and get to know each other a little better and share food, of course,” Sue Owens, the librarian who planned this event, told SiouxLand Proud.
Of course they’re not real books. Basically, students had an opportunity to make a tasty desert and make others guess what book that desert represented.
Image Via Sioux City Journal
Sioux City Journal spoke to library manager Sharon Dykshoorn, who said, “Anyone who wanted to vote for their favorite among the edible books could do so” and that , “the winner of the popular vote will be determined at noon and a small prize will be given to the top vote-getter.”
Dykshoorn had her own entry, which by all accounts was the hardest to guess.
Image Via Sioux City Journal
See if you can guess what books these six deserts represent:
A fish bowl inside of which are Swedish fish candies.
2. A plate filled with grapes
3. A Mars candy bar called “The Three Musketeers”
4. A teddy bear surrounded by wedding-ring-shaped cookies
5. A chocolate cake
6. A book-shaped cake covered in fondant and buttercream
Dykshoorn gave a hint for her entry: “[I]t represents an ancient book…[p]lus it was turned into a movie starring Robin Williams.” After guessing the titles for each book, students had the chance to dig in on the displays.
April 22nd is Earth Day, and while you’re all busy reducing, reusing, and recycling, we’ve made a list of cli-fi books for you to read and share. Cli-Fi has become a new genre of fiction, focusing on the most drastic effects of climate change that we face by taking no actions to stop it. They’re eerie, they’re surprisingly accurate, and they’re a lot of fun.
1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The many 80’s references and killer virtual reality video game detract from the fact that Ready Player One paints a disturbing picture of the future. The plot develops due to the fact that the environment has literally deteriorated. The book takes place in the year 2045, which is really not too far into the future. We’ve even recently been warned that we can start to see similar effects by the time we do get to the 2040’s. The earth is destitute, and people are living in stacks of trailers. Because there is little to no agriculture due to climate change, there is little to no income. Kids are using computers to attend school in a virtual reality setting, and virtual currencies are worth significantly more than national currencies. The book highlights just how much of a threat is posed if we allow the environment to crumble like we currently are. The economy will crumble right behind it, leaving us to rely on a billionaire to develop a game like Oasis where we can win his entire estate. This is what gamers have been preparing for their whole lives, but it would just be easier if we planted some trees.
2. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
I bet you had no idea that long before saving the bees and trees became a global concern, Dr. Seuss was warning the world about the threat dangerous progress posed to the earth’s natural beauty through The Lorax. We’ve destroyed whole forests to build cities, and allowed gas guzzling cars to take over as a main source of transportation because it was most convenient. We never even tried to understand what these things would do until it was too late. While the book is aimed towards children, adults still have a lot to learn from Dr. Seuss.
3. The MaddAddam Series by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood has been eerily accurate in her dystopian novels, and this is no exception. Atwood holds up a mirror to show us what we are facing by doing nothing about the pending dooms of climate change in these three books: Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam. After a man-made plague wipes out a good percentage of the world’s population, a bio-engineered species is created to replace humans. You were worried about robots taking your jobs, well this is even scarier. The books track several characters as they face rising sea levels and quite literally the end of the world as we know it. Should we be scared? Definitely, as it seems life does seem to be headed the way Atwood predicts in her other dystopias, and even after being warned we need to take action we remain unsurprisingly inactive.
4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Road takes a look at a father and son duo, who find themselves trekking across a burned up United States in search of the shore. Snow has turned grey, and the only movement is that of the ashes. A dried up and burned up earth may not seem so close to reality, but California has already experienced drought and wildfires that may make you think twice about that. Armed with only a pistol, the duo make their way across the country, with only love for the other to save themselves. Hope has gone out the window, there is a lingering fear of others who they may come across. The only food they have is what they brought with them. There is no livestock, no crops, not even a bush of berries to sustain them. In a world that has been destroyed by climate changes, it is clear there is nothing left but fear and hopelessness.
5. New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson
Taking place just over a century in the future, it is clear through New York 2140 that climate change is seriously in effect. The water has risen, submerging all of New York City. Every street has become a waterway, and every skyscraper an island. Though the story is told with a humorous tone, it is clear these are not funny circumstances. Subway gone, historic monuments gone, the New York Public Library gone. Robinson tells the story through the eyes of several characters all observing the new New York from a single building. Through Robinson’s craft, it is easy to see the undesirable changes New York undergoes and, therefore, we undergo.
6. The Rain Never Came by Lachlan Walter
After a drought strikes Australia, citizens in The Rain Never Came are escorted away towards more livable environments. Some decide to remain behind, hiding in places no one would dare look. Bill Cook and Tobe Cousins are just two such people. The book clearly plays on very real fears that we face in conjunction with climate change. Like I said earlier, California is currently facing this issue. This is no longer some dystopian idea, it is real life for too many people. There is definitely a post-apocalyptic feel to this book, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this could soon be reality.
7. Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
Gold Fame Citrus takes the story of Luz and Ray, survivors of a drought-struck California. People have been ushered to government camps on the east coast, while others have been stopped from crossing the California border. Those left are surviving on rations of water and anything else they can scavenge for. Destitute land turning citizens into thieves and vigilantes is nothing new in Cli-Fi, but what makes this original is the fact that this isn’t some far-fetched idea. Again, droughts in California are happening. While we haven’t yet started rationing anything or shipping people off to encampments, what is to say we won’t if things do get worse?
The name Dr. Seuss needs no introduction. Famous for his children’s novels that blended his brilliant rhyming schemes with illogical logic, nonsense words, and surrealist worlds into popular works such as The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and The Lorax. Still, there was more to Dr. Seuss than just these works, despite being his most famous creations. He was also a renowned illustrator, creating artwork for magazines, political cartoons, and most interestingly of all, himself.
As discussed in this article by The Guardian, Seuss illustrated hundreds of surreal artworks in the late hours of the night, painting for himself. These paintings were kept private until Seuss’s death, after which they were released to the public in an exhibition in Vancouver in 2016, dubbed The Art of Dr. Seuss and Liss Gallery. As discussed in this article by The Star, Seuss historians believe Dr. Seuss created these artworks to fulfill his imagination, his unshackled creativity inspiring him to put his best work forward for his actual public artwork. The gallery showcased sculptures, paintings, and illustrations released by his Estate, showcasing the private mind of Dr. Seuss.
Below are some of the ‘Midnight Paintings’, allowing us a glimpse into the mind of the author whose works we grew up with.
The paintings were collected into a book called The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss. Featuring sixty-five color illustrations, the book allows one to see Dr. Seuss in a whole new light. Pick up a copy today and bask for yourself in the beautiful illustrations of Dr. Seuss’s private world.
Today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday! To celebrate his life and legacy, let’s look at all the reasons to love Theodore “Seuss” Geisel!
Painting of Theodore Seuss Geisel at work. | Image via myhero.com
1. “Zoyce” is the German pronunciation of Seuss; however, Seuss liked that “Soose” rhymed with Mother Goose, so he adopted the pronunciation.
2. Seuss’s father would dream up complicated inventions in his spare time, like the “Silk-Stocking-Back-Seam-Wrong-Detecting Mirror. This explains all those wacky contraptions in Whoville.
Image via Dr. Seuss Wiki
3. Shockingly, Seuss was voted “least likely to succeed” by Casque & Gauntlet, the senior society he belonged to at Dartmouth College. He really showed them!
4. Although Seuss once attended Oxford University, with the encouragement of his fellow student and future wife, Helen Palmer, he quit school to concentrate on building his art career! Not an easy decision to make, but we’re all so glad that he did.
5. Dr. Seuss is credited with inventing the word “nerd” in his book If I Ran the Zoo as early as 1950.
Image Via Google Books
6. Green Eggs and Ham was written because Seuss took a $50 bet that he could write a book with only 50 words. He could.
7. Dr. Seuss kept a closet full of wacky hats. Whenever he came up against writer’s block, he’d put on a suitable hat to help the words flow.
Image via Collectors Weekly
8. He reportedly would write every day for eight hours. Now that is dedication!
9. After WWII, back when he worked for a magazine, Seuss travelled to Japan to do research for an article. While there, he asked children to draw what they wanted to be when they grew up. This stirred up his inspiration for Horton Hears A Who.
10. Horton Hears A Who was inspired by Seuss’ time in Japan. After creating racist, anti-Japanese propaganda, Seuss realized his mistake during his trip. The idea “a person is a person, no matter how small” had much to do with the country just emerging as a democratic nation, and people gaining the power to make their own decisions and empower their own voices.
11. Seuss was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for “his special contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America’s children and their parents.” He was the first person to win the Pulitzer Prize for writing children’s books.
12. Seuss became dedicated to creating books for early readers after stumbling across an article about American children having trouble learning to read. The man had a goal, and boy did he achieve it!
Photograph of a young Theodor Seuss Geisel. | Image via The national Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature.
Many of these facts and more can be found in author Janet B. Pascal’s insightful book Who Was Dr. Seuss.