I make my kid's birthday cakes. There is nothing wrong with cakes from a store, except the frosting is usually gross, the cake is dry and I am anti-cartoon characters. Anyhoo -- As soon as they are old enough to talk they can choose whatever they want their cakes to look like. I have done from pretty simple "Hungry Caterpiller" green cupcakes (cute) to a princess castle (not so cute) and everything in between. I have very limited cake decorating skills and my kids have very large imaginations, but they seem to meet in the middle. Since Big J has been captivated by the "Spiderwick" spell for the last couple of years, and this year the movie came out he wanted a cake that looked like "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You"
If you can look past the fact that it is on a cookie sheet - I couldn't find the platter I needed! I think it turned out really well.
Big J loved it.