The Worm-like Critter Who Really Needed A Meal

I don't know if you knew this or not but apparently I didn't write the book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". A (I'm sure) very lovely and talented man by the name of Eric Carle wrote that book. He's worked on many other fabulous books as well that I'm sure you are familiar with. I was raised reading many of these books and some of my very first book-related memories involve the book "Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?" which he illustrated. In fact, I love this mans' books so much that when one of my customers requested a first birthday party based around "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" I was thrilled! It's a pretty popular theme these days, which I think is so wonderful. Parties for young children involving books - it doesn't get any better! So much better than all of the uber-commercialized, generic, if not trashy "children's" partyware out there. The day my child eats birthday cake off of the bare mid section of a "Bratz" girl on a plate...well...let's all just hope that day never comes.

But I digress.

So, up goes the "reserved listing" in my shop. Complete with "the" caterpillar. I wanted to give the customer an idea of the "feel" of her party. I wasn't selling the caterpillar image. I was selling my time and talent and paper and ribbon and glue - all of the things it takes me to create an entire birthday party revolved around a simple "theme".


Because it's such a great book, and because I knew I'd hold on to this book for years to come, because I would need a refresher in order to design coordinating partyware, because there was a long waiting list at the library - I bought it. Did you read that Eric Carle? I bought your book. You're welcome buddy. Go get a cheeseburger on me.

Before I was even done with the party, with only the purchased "reserved listing" in my Etsy shop - I received an email from Etsy telling me that Mr. Such and Such, a LAWYER representing ERIC CARLE had contacted them regarding MY party listing. Apparently I didn't write the book, and I don't have the rights to the images and I'm not allowed to ever post anything like that ever again. I wonder if all the folks with hungry caterpillar listings - all 4 pages of them - received emails like mine.

On one hand, I see where they are coming from. Sure he wants to be the one making money on his book. OH WAIT...HE DID. I wouldn't have purchased it if I hadn't been so garsh-darn excited about that party.

Why did I write this you ask? Why did I take the time to rant my pants off regarding this matter? Because it was a good reminder for all of us creative kids- stay away from the commercial stuff. Even when it seems harmless, healthy even - just stay away. Because all of those Erics out there want more cheeseburgers.

So, because I know you are all wondering how it turned out - I give you a picture of my "time and talent" - I call it "The Worm-Like Critter Who Really Needed A Meal"

I hope all of the darling little kiddies at the party had so much fun that they all run home and beg their parents to go out and buy them a copy of the book. mmm....cheeseburgers.


  1. this is so beautiful. I love this book - so does my son!

  2. Well you'll have to write the book for that to happen. LOL.

    Your party looks amazing.

    Kat sent us here.

  3. oh man, Eric Carle's attorney must be really bored, scouring Etsy for hungry caterpillar swag!! are you sure it wasn't one of your jealous competitors messing with ya? Seriously! I love your response I am doing a worm-like order of cookies too - I'll keep that in mind if I post about it on my blog. SHEESH!!

  4. Seriously Kristen if the email hadn't come from an Etsy Admin I would have thought it was a joke...especially considering the pages and pages of commercial stuff on Etsy... oh well, lesson learned! PS - LOVE the pirate cookies! I've missed seeing your new pictures over the summer! :)

  5. Hi, Michelle.. I love your work.. I am also on etsy selling party supplies. :) Yuri's Designs..
    I wanted to tell you, that I too recieved a convo from etsy telling me same!!( I had cupcake toppers with STICKERS that I BOUGHT of the hungry caterpillar). I just now did a quick "hungry caterpillar" search under handmade, and apparently the other sellers did in fact recieve the same convo we did! (listing are gone).. ..

    Any whoo.. moving on... like I said, I love your work! SOOO cute! And your very talanted!

  6. Hi Yuri! Thanks for the kind words!

    Yes - this was an annoying lesson to learn. This happened years ago - have since stopped using all commercial images/ideas/likenesses for profit. I"ll be sure to check out your stuff - thanks for stopping by!

  7. Michelle, I'm planning my own ravenous crawling insect party (LOL), and stumbled upon your AMAZING party! Sorry you received that nasty email. This shindig sure did turn out FAB! GREAT JOB! :)

  8. Well, the party was a big hit and my little girl loved it! (as did mom and dad). Thank you for all the time you put into it. The final products were awesome!
    - the one who got you in trouble.