My Mom has always enjoyed baking and making my birthday (and wedding!) cakes. We have given her the honor of baking Blaise's two birthday cakes. Last year's was a fish based on his love of swimmy fish and this year's was Elmo based on his new found love of the little red monster. She is very methodical in her ways and it shows in the outcome.
Those of you interested in children's birthday cakes in Germany, I can highly recommend the online service of Backformenladen. Not that it is impossible to find cake pans here, but the selection leaves something to be desired. Backformenladen has (at least what seems like) hundreds of pans for many occasions available for rent (also some to purchase). The price is fair and I liked the idea of renting so that I don't end up with 40 pans by the time my kids move out (less stuff!). I found them very easy to deal with and accommodating. They ship cake paraphernalia (food coloring, icing, baking soda, etc.) along with the pan and you pay for whatever you use. We actually didn't use this service, but it was good backup should we have run out of something (which we almost did - Elmo's fur needed a lot of coloring!).