Cool stuff

Butterfly puzzle

By 10 August , 2017 March 8th, 2019 2 Comments

Butterflies! 36 of them.

A year ago I was approached by Crocodile Creek to design a puzzle with them.
They told me it would be for their new ’36 Animals’ series and they asked me if I was interested in illustrating their butterfly-themed puzzle.
It would be a ‘Butterflies of the World’ kind of puzzle, and I did a lot of research finding a nice diversity of butterflies in all sorts of colors, shapes, sizes and from different places.

In the end, it was actually harder than I thought.
I had to do a lot of research to find butterflies that live in a different country or continent and, at the same time, were different enough from the ones I already selected.
There are butterflies species that you will find here in the Netherlands, but ALSO in the United States and Asia and Africa.
I always thought that some butterflies were sort of country-bound. But that’s not the case.
An example is the ‘Koninginnepage’ which is called ‘The old World Swallowtail’ in English. It’s a species that you will find in Europe, The United States, Russia, Alaska, Canada and Asia.

Another tough choice to make was the way I choose to place and pose the butterflies. I decided to give them all a face, so they became fun little characters. But the wings, which makes them recognizable, are not always accurate according to the way you’re facing them.
Some butterflies species are entirely brown, except for the colorful insides of their wings.
You will only notice this when they land somewhere and open their wings for you. But there are also butterflies who have their more colorful designs showing on the outside of their wings, or sometimes even on both sides.
See the struggle I was in?
So in the end, I chose to sometimes show the insides of the wings, and sometimes show the outsides while all butterflies are still facing you with their quirky faces and smiles.

It was a happy coincidence that I happened to have purchased a beautiful second-hand book about butterflies a week earlier.
It is called ‘Moussault’s Groot Vlinderboek’ and has pages completely filled with butterflies of different families and genders. It’s quite complete, and all butterflies are shown in the right scale. I used the book to scale the butterflies to their actual size, compared to each other.
So you will see that the Monarch butterfly is huge compared to the tiny Iolas Blue butterfly.
I got the book at the Deventer Boekenmarkt, a huge book fair which takes place annually on the first Sunday of August. They say it’s Europes’ biggest book fair as the whole city is literally covered with book stands.
And I was so happy that my husband urged me to buy it. I was hesitant as it was a bit more expensive, and I already purchased some other books too. But Coen insisted, and it was a good thing he did!

When I received the samples of the puzzle last week, I was very happy to see the result. The illustrations were printed so well!
The colors are perfect and bright, and my husband and I had fun working on the puzzles together.
Inside the box you will find a chart that shows the names of the butterflies in different languages. A fun addition to the series.

The puzzles and placemats are available in the Crocodile Creek webshop and at retailers of the company.

You can find them with the following links:
Puzzle 100 pieces
Puzzle 300 pieces

If you have like the puzzle, or maybe even purchased it, I would love to know what you think.
You are welcome to leave a message in the comments.

Wishing you a lovely day!




  • Wendy ten Hove says:

    Ja, wij hebben deze! Hij is geweldig en mijn dochter vond hem al super toen ze 2,5 jaar was en wou hem elke keer samen maken! Nu 3 en nog steeds een topper! Erg mooi geworden en zij (en ik!) vinden de vlinders en de karaktertjes geweldig! Ze zoekt altijd degenen die slapen en die lachen. Dan de baby’s en ga zo maar door! 🙂 Heerlijke puzzel!
    Groeten, Wendy

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