Clarendon Hills library contest combines books with eating for fun
Tina Rivera of Clarendon Hills eats some of the entries after the winners were announced during the Clarendon Hill's Library's Edible Book Contest. | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 3, 2012 12:33PM
CLARENDON HILLS — The Clarendon Hills Public Library certainly ended up with some tasty treats Saturday afternoon when it hosted an Edible Book Contest.
Library Director Lori Craft said the idea for the contest came from reading an article that mentioned the University of Illinois had conducted the same competition.
“It seemed like the perfect way to celebrate our summer reading theme of Reading is So Delicious,” Craft said. “It was a fun way for families or individuals to have some fun creating something delicious to eat, based on a book title.”
The contest resulted in eight entries by 15 participants.
“And we had 25 people come in to see and taste,” Craft said. “The whole idea was to get and keep people interested in reading, and have some fun.”
The Edible Book Contest became a family affair for the Riveras of Clarendon Hills, and it was 5-year-old Alex who suggested the family participate.
“We saw a pamphlet about the contest, and Alex said we should do it as a family,” said Biljana Rivera, whose three older children, Tina, 11; Maria, 8; and Alex; ended up helping her decorate a cake created by the children’s grandmother, Borka Rivera.
“We originally we’re going to choose The Wizard of Oz as our book, but it was way too hard,” Biljana Rivera said. “We decided to do Alex’s favorite book, Go Away Big Green Monster.”
While the Rivera family ended up sharing the People’s Choice award at the contest with Sean Bowling for his cake made up to represent Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the process did not get off to a great start for the Riveras.
“We did a try-out cake two weeks ago, and it fell apart,” Biljana Rivera said. “Grandma ended up making another cake, and we decorated it. It wasn’t your typical type of cake.”
The Riveras cake included spinach, cream cheese, ham, and eggs among its ingredients. And while it looked good, and according to most who tried it, also tasted good, Tina Rivera had no interest in eating her family’s creation.
“I tried all the cakes, but not ours because I don’t try vegetables,” she said. “It was fun doing it, though. We all tried doing our own cakes first, but we decided to do this, and it was fun to do it as a family. We all talked to each other while we were doing it and didn’t fight at all.”
Maria Rivera said enjoyed the experience.
“It was just fun, and I like eating cake,” she said.
Along with a People’s Choice award, the Riveras also won the families category in the library’s contest, and Sean Bowling also was the winner in the category for children in fifth grade and younger The winner for young adults entering grades 6-12 was Heidi Westra for her creation tying into the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
“Overall, I think the contest went very well,” Craft said. “You don’t know how things like this will go the first time you try them, but we had a good response, and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves.”