Nathan Shields is a former maths teacher who now looks after his two children, Gryphon and Alice, alongside his work as a freelance illustrator.
Searching for a small way to put a smile on their faces, Nathan remembered the 'monster pancakes' his mother used to make for him as a child and decided to do the same for his own kids.His own designs are anything but simple, however. Nathan makes no bones about the fact that his pancake creations are an educational tool as well as entertainment.
For instance, he frequently crafts the pancakes into a series of pictures showing different species of animals - butterflies, sharks and rabbits, to name a few - in perfect anatomical detail.
That doesn't mean he doesn't also indulge his silly side from time to time, though. Some of his breakfast treats pay homage to unabashedly geeky hobbies - Star Wars characters, famous mathematicians and Hobbit author J.R.R Tolkien.
All the designs are posted on his website, Saipancakes.com, so called because he started making them while his family were living on the Pacific island of Saipan.
The family has now returned to the US, but Nathan hasn't slowed down - in fact, if anything, his creations have become even more complex. In an interview with the Huffington Post two years ago, Nathan said he wanted to hone his skills to make human faces - and he did!He now he uses the pancakes to commemorate famous figures through history such as Albert Einstein and George Washington, celebrating their birthdays with intricate pancake portraits. Not all his subjects are so lofty, though - he's also made portraits of Jackie Chan and Zach Galifianakis.
Two years later and the kids still look forward to the latest batch, Nathan says. But he admits it isn't always easy.
"Sometimes it takes all morning to get them right," he told Fox News. "I remember one morning just eating plate after plate of Nelson Mandela's face until it came out."
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