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Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover
Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover | Paul Buckley
38 posts | 16 read | 172 to read
From Drop Caps to Deluxes, Penguin Creative Director Paul Buckley presents a visual overview of the innovative covers that have put Penguin Classics at the forefront of the book design world Since the launch of Penguin Classics in 1946, innovative cover design has been one of its defining aspects. Today, Penguin Classics remains at the leading edge of the book-design world. In this curated tour featuring illuminating commentary by artists and writers, including Malika Favre, Mike Mignola, James Franco, Jessica Hische, Jillian Tamaki and many more, Penguin creative director Paul Buckley showcases more than a decade of stunning cover designs and the stories behind them. For lovers of classic literature, book design, and all things Penguin, Classic Penguin has you covered. Paul Buckley is creative director for Penguin Classics and oversees a large staff of exceptionally talented designers and art directors working on the jackets and covers of sixteen imprints within the Penguin Random House publishing group. Over the past two decades, his iconic design and singular art direction have been showcased on thousands of covers and jackets, winning him many awards and frequent invitations to speak in the United States and abroad. In 2010, he edited and introduced Penguin 75. Matt Vee is a designer and illustrator who attended School of Visual Arts and Pratt Institute. He has received two Gold Scholastic Art Awards and created logos for worldwide brands. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Slate, Print magazine, Paste magazine, and UnderConsiderations Brand New. Audrey Niffenegger is a visual artist and writer. In addition to the bestselling novels The Time Travelers Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, she is the author of three illustrated novels and the editor of Ghostly. Elda Rotor is vice president and publisher for Penguin Classics. She has created and edited several series, including Penguin Civic Classics, Penguin Threads, Couture Classics, Penguin Horror, and Penguin Drop Caps. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Borrowed this from @penguinusa on Instagram. 🖤

wanderinglynn So pretty! 😍 3y
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When books and art collide... the result is eye candy.


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OHMYGOSH... this 102 man knits sweaters for injured penguins and the 2nd penguin from the left is wearing the penguin books LOGO! Ackkkk, that is cuteness OVERLOAD! I♡♡♡thisman

wordzie ❤❤ 4y
gradcat I‘m so happy you posted this...you just made my day, maybe even my week! I live this—the knitter 🧶, the penguins 🐧, and especially the sweaters—so much love to love!! 🥰 4y
SilversReviews LOVE this...thanks for sharing. 4y
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Gina @wordzie @gradcat @SilversReviews I am glad it made you smile! 4y
SilversReviews @Gina It did make me smile. 4y
Tamra Crazy cute! 4y
JoScho This is the best!!!! 4y
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I love this book! It's so fun to see all the AWESOME editions penguin has came out with through the years! I think I want to start collecting the deluxe editions they are 😍😍😍!


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I have a few Penguin Classic Deluxe Editions, but I want them ALL! #gimmegimmegimme #ABBAinAugust

Ingerella I love those! 4y
Nute I love a lot of book covers, but these are some of my favorites. Congrats on your collection. 4y
Mdargusch I know what you mean! 4y
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I loved the eye candy of various Classic Penguin covers and the (brief) stories behind the designs. But now I want even more books, especially the Drop Cap editions. Sigh!!

readordierachel The drop caps are so pretty! I covet them too. 5y
ValerieAndBooks @ReadOrDieRachel the complete set is on amazon for around $450 but think I need to win the lottery first 😂 5y
readordierachel Oh is that all? 😂😂 5y
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PirateJenny If you're on any sort of social media, follow Penguin Books and Penguin Classics. They have regular giveaways. It won't help with the full set of Drop Caps, but you might win something. No guarantees of course. ☺ 5y
Reviewsbylola @emilyhaldi I think you need this book. 5y
Chelsey I love the drop caps too *le sigh* 5y
ValerieAndBooks @PirateJenny I follow them on IG and enter just about every giveaway (mainly through their emails) ... one day it‘ll be my lucky day 🤞😊!! 5y
ValerieAndBooks @Reviewsbylola I ordered this through Book Outlet— maybe they still have it available! @emilyhaldi 5y
ValerieAndBooks @Chelsey yes, even more now!! 5y
Reviewsbylola Ooooh now you‘re really tempting her Valerie!! 5y
emilyhaldi Ooohhh this looks fun!!! I will def check out book outlet, my fav place 😉 5y
Sarah83 So gorgeous 😍 5y
Liz_M $450? That's only $17 per hardcover book. You'd save so much by just ordering them ask at once! I did have to buy Middlemarch because it highlights my initials (E M) 😁 5y
Liz_M ask=all 5y
ValerieAndBooks @Sarah83 they definitely are 😍😍!! 5y
ValerieAndBooks @emilyhaldi did you find it 😉? 5y
ValerieAndBooks @Liz_M And that is after the amazon discount— still a lot all at once 😂! Great idea to get your initials first. I may do that, then I figure if I do “Val” and my last name, I can spell that out without repeating any of the letters 😊 5y
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Now I know why the Penguin Ink covers aren‘t discussed here! It‘s too bad it didn‘t continue to work out. I wish they elaborated more on the difficulty of working with most of these tattoo artists! Probably some good stories there.

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It‘s nice to see this cover featured and discussed here. Brings back good memories of our #LittleRaskols readalong 😊!

At first I thought I had a defective copy because the headlines seem slightly sliced off at the top, but evidently this was intentional 🤷🏻‍♀️.

Reviewsbylola This book looks so cool! 5y
batsy This will give me serious #bookenvy 😍 5y
LeahBergen This book looks so good. 5y
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Arrived today! All this for $35 from Book Outlet 😍. If hubby asks, I‘ll tell him the two college books were what I ordered (youngest is a HS junior) and the rest were just to get free shipping 😉. Had my eyes on these Penguin Orange editions after having included another one in my previous BO order. P.S. tagged book is because @vivastory mentioned it quite some time back.

charl08 Want! 5y
vivastory So many wonderful Orange Classics! 5y
saresmoore I immediately thought of @vivastory when I saw this post. Great choices! 5y
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vivastory @saresmoore My reputation precedes me 😄 5y
tammysue 😍 5y
LeahBergen Nicely done! 👍🏻 5y
ValerieAndBooks @charl08 maybe they still have it/them available 😁?? 5y
ValerieAndBooks @saresmoore @vivastory 😊🧡🖤🧡🖤🧡😊. I already started perusing the Cover to Cover. Notice Raskolnikov is on the cover?? 5y
ValerieAndBooks @whatshesreadingnow the Orange Penguins sure looks good together, don‘t they?! 😍 5y
Sarah83 The tagged book is so awesome. 😍💖 5y
ValerieAndBooks @Sarah83 I‘m loving it 🖤🧡🖤🧡!! 5y
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I had an oncology appointment this morning and won't get my results till next week. So I did some retail therapy. This was part four from Schuler Books In Okemos, Michigan.

LeahBergen Lovely! 5y
Sarah83 Loved this book 😊 5y
melbeautyandbooks I hope your results are good. 🤞🏻 5y
Jas16 Sending wishes for good test results. 5y
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My favorite write-up so far. Riccardo Vecchio for Penguin Miller Classics.

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What a gorgeous book. 😍
So many adorable bookcovers. 😍
The illustrators explain their ideas, why they made up the covers like this and the different editions are introduced. For example, you find two editions of 'Emma' in this book.
I really want to give my library away and buy most of these books. 💋
#tbrbingo 11/25
@vivastory thank you for sharing this book!

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Another time... Some reading for #Litsypartyofone. 😍


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A beautiful design book that shows many Penguin book jackets #covertocover in double page spreads. #fallintobooks

rubyslippersreads 😍😍😍 5y
kspenmoll Lovely! 5y
JazzFeathers 😍😍😍 5y
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I don't own any craft books. The Penguin Threads series definitely has a craft vibe.

saresmoore I am SHOCKED to learn that you don't own any craft books! 😏 5y
vivastory @saresmoore Haha. I know! Although now that I think about it, i think I'd enjoy looking through an origami book 5y
saresmoore Origami is a really wonderful activity. It's almost cathartic. 5y
tpixie I love these covers that look stitched!!! 5y
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Penguin's horror series

saresmoore Now, THOSE, I like. 5y
MyBookLife Nice 😍😍 5y
saresmoore And curated by Guillermo del Toro! How cool! I only wish they had Dracula. I've yet to find a cover of Dracula that I love. (edited) 5y
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vivastory @saresmoore I love these. Gaiman curated the Galaxy series & all 6 in that series are ones i want to read. It's just the bad design. 5y
saresmoore Yeah, I agree about the Galaxy book being great picks. I noticed the upside down spine when I got Dune, but I thought it was maybe a misprint because I had gotten it for ridiculously cheap! 5y
saresmoore Also, I just found the gothic classics in Couture Editions with cover art by Ruben Toledo. That's an interesting Dracula cover, although I'm not sure I actually like it. Ha! http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/288767/dracula-by-bram-stoker/9780143106... 5y
vivastory @saresmoore I like it. I was about to send it to you. Have you seen the b&n collector's edition cover? 5y
saresmoore Well, that's gorgeous! It looks like B&N doesn't sell it new anymore, though. 5y
Kalalalatja Now these are well designed! 👏 5y
vivastory @Kalalalatja plus they all have stained edges! 5y
Kalalalatja Oh my! You are not doing my tbr any favours today 😄 5y
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@Kalalalatja It makes my head hurt

LectricSheep I think I would like all of those. 😍 5y
saresmoore Hahaha! I kind of love Dune in this edition. Although it's really...brown. 5y
vivastory @saresmoore It is very brown.. 5y
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Kalalalatja You have convinced me. It doesn't make any sense why that one books is in a different style from all the rest. I might have been drawn to them because of their shine 5y
vivastory @Kalalalatja i can handle upside down titles on the spine OR a different design style for one of the covers. But both? Nope! 5y
Kalalalatja I haven't read The Once and Future King, and I don't really know what's about, but it seems like it should be in a Middle Age/Knight series, and not in a Galaxy series. The style doesn't fit in at all. 5y
vivastory @Kalalalatja It doesn't at all. I'm hopeful penguin will do a fantasy series soon 5y
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Penguin has done a great job of making this book visually stunning (apart from the odd decision to make me feel like the top 2mm had been chopped off every page in the book ). The artwork chosen is impeccable and combined with the sometimes fractious and humorous asides by illustrators and creative director Paul Buckley it gives you a great insight into the book cover design process.
Task 3 - Book about Books

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I love opening each new page of this to get arrested by these fantastic book cover illustrations. It's pointing me to some great looking Penguin Black Spine Classics and others I purely want to get for their beautiful art work - like this one here for the deluxe edition of The Master and Margarita .
#readharder #readharderchallenge #booksboutbooks

Marchpane Gorgeous!!! 6y
Theresa I have that edition & I don't mind admitting I bought it because of the gorgeous cover! 6y
Redheadrambles @Theresa I can see me needing to get it for sure 😀 6y
Maike I have that edition and it's so beautiful 😍 6y
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#judgedbyitscover #marchintoreading @RealLifeReading

Since I saw this book here on litsy, I needed to have it. 😍 I really love it and its adorable pictures of covers. 😍

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This book is magic! It's a look at the cover design process for a number of different Penguin classics. There are blurbs from many of the artists about their process. Some of the unselected options are shown beside the final cover, as seen here. This book is everything I wanted Jhumpa Lahiri's The Clothing of Books to be. A delight for those who love covers.

Ellen This is also great for anyone into book cover art 6y
TeR That looks fascinating.. 6y
Hooked_on_books @Ellen Thanks! That looks good--I'll definitely look for it. 6y
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I love Penguin Classics, and this was a fun inside look into the design process with commentary from illustrators and even some rejected covers. An interesting behind the scenes peek. I wish they had included some covers from Penguin Ink and the clothbound hardcover classics, but a nice selection nonetheless.

MrBook Nice! 6y
vivastory This is one of my favorite cover design book. I agree, they could've easily included more designs like the Penguin ink. If you haven't seen it, I also recommend 6y
Brie @vivastory Oh, I haven't heard of that one before. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! 6y
vivastory @brie I hope you enjoy. He's one of my favorite living book designers 6y
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There are so many beautiful covers in the book but I think my favorite is the threads

vivastory I loved the threads! 6y
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This book, along with Peter Mendelsund's "Cover", is my favorite cover design book. I unabashedly love the design work that Penguin has been doing for awhile, despite the rare flop (Galaxy Series deserved a better design). I will be returning to this book frequently. Absolutely adore it. If you enjoy cover art, then this is a must own.

LeahBergen I'm going to check this one out. 👍🏼 6y
vivastory @LeahBergen I think you'll love it. I also found a few books I'd never heard of. Books like penguin book of gaslight crime & penguin book of Victorian women in crime 6y
LeahBergen 😮😮 Stop! 😂 6y
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Leniverse I find myself so torn sometimes... Do I get the Oxford University Press edition of a book because of their always excellent introductions, footnotes, and other extras, or do I get Penguin because Penguin covers! (Yes, I know the obvious solution is to get both editions, but it is not always a feasible solution.) 6y
quirkyreader This book is on my list. 6y
vivastory @Leniverse I know what you mean. I tend to go with Penguin as there's usually a good introduction. I figure a lot of work that can contain footnotes etc, I can usually get a separate volume about it from the library. This is especially true for the ancient epics & myths. 6y
vivastory @quirkyreader You will love it. 6y
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Da ich letzte Woche krank war, musste ich mir selbst schnell ein kleines Weihnachtsgeschenk machen und habe mir diese tollen Sachen vom Penguin Verlag bestellt *ich bin (buch)verliebt* 😍

I was ill last week, so I had to order myself a little christmas gift and found these wonderful things of penguin books. *I'm (book)enamoured * 😍

vivastory The "Classic Penguin Covers" is one of my favorite cover design books 6y
Sarah83 I saw this book here some days ago. I understand why you love it. 😍 I only had a short view before dinner and I am enthusiastic. 😙 6y
Faibka I just saw your post, this looks awesome!!! 6y
Sarah83 @Faibka I saw this book at litsy and I love the penguin publishing, so I needed all of this. thank you. 😍 6y
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For #Recommendsday this week, let's try something a little different: tell us what books you're giving as gifts for the holidays. Because books make the best gifts! Tag a photo with #Recommendsday, or leave a comment on this post. 📚💕🎁

Chey12 The Woman in Cabin Ten by Ruth Ware 6y
Weaponxgirl I'm getting my youngest bro a book about pans labyrinth 6y
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niki.inwonderland I'm giving my 1 year old niece a beautiful book of illustrated fairy tales ❤ 6y
Chassie Tons of Brad Meltzer books for kiddos. The Fire This Time for a professor friend. The Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth for a friend who loves science/pysch-based non-fiction. Paper Girls Vol 1 for a fellow comic buff. @natgeo for a friend who loves photography. The Sparrow for my litfic buddy. And Packing for Mars for another non-fic reading pal. 6y
DrJAdMerricksson The Word Detectives to my bond-brother 6y
UnabridgedTomes The Caped Crusade by Glen Weldon, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and The Sherlockian are all going to my brother in law! 6y
Ellen For my mother 6y
LubicaP What the Dickens by Bryan Kozlowsky, Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi 6y
Kimzey Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Just gave it at my book club Christmas party last night! 6y
readerchris I am about to finish "The Sellout" by Paul Beatty. Highly recommend. 6y
LibrarianJen I'm getting my Uncle who's taught me everything I know about music, Bruce Springsteen's autobiography 6y
lildeb_8 If you haven't read the Fireman by Joe Hill, it's excellent! 6y
k.bryns Got Girl on the Train for my mother--I haven't read it yet but I will borrow hers! 6y
Chachic I'll be giving a Filipino romance anthology as a Christmas gift to my girlfriends! 6y
bates_barb I got my mum a copy of Bitch Planet Vol 1. I'm on the lookout for more books under "Women get tired of taking shit from men and take action" to add to it for her. 6y
scripturient My mum is getting the latest Fitzek book. 6y
Ms_Ashley I'm getting my 4 year old cousin Bunnicula after your recommendation on All The Books. 6y
jenada I'm gifting aaaaaall the Paw Patrol books to my four-year-old 6y
SaunteringVaguelyDownwards I'm getting my sister the Breaking Cat News book so I can support the author and spread my love for the adorable webcomic! 6y
booksandsympathy I gave my nephew Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, my brother Race for the South Pole, my dad Flash the Homeless Donkey, my best friend Long Lankin and its sequel The Mark of Cain, and my goddaughter The Snow Child. 6y
Thursdaycheshirerain For a series reader... In death by J. D. Robb or The Hallows by Kim Harrison 6y
Clwojick I will definitely be buying a few copies of Furiously Happy for a couple people this year, and few Ellen Hopkins books for a friend of mine. And my new baby cousin will be getting a copy of I Love You Forever. 💙 5y
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Thanks to the magic of same day shipping, my Amazon Black Friday splurge is already in! So excited to start these!

Texreader Yay! Great haul! 6y
britt_brooke 💕 Amazon 💕 6y
PenguinInFlight Laini Taylor books 😍😍😍 6y
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No-one does orange like Penguin.

ValerieAndBooks I want this one!! 6y
vivastory @ValerieAndBooks This is a recently published book. It covers the design golden age that penguin is still experiencing. Penguin and Vintage are doing the most compelling, beautiful design work now. It's pretty affordable (I think I got it for around 17$). 6y
ValerieAndBooks Maybe I'll ask for it for Christmas 😊 6y
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In love with my new phone cover 😍

Eyelit 👍👍👍 6y
LeahBergen ❤️❤️ 6y
Kkhalifeh Yes! That is a thing of beauty. 6y
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MrBook 😂👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🙌🏻 6y
Kathrin I need this as my iPad and Kindle cover!! 6y
stacybmartin This is so great! 😍🙌🏼 6y
dylanisreading I need this! 6y
Bookzombie I wish Otterbox made covers like this. I drop my phone a lot. 😋 6y
Melkyl That's great! 6y
Autumn Love that!! 6y
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'S pritty 😍

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My reps know me so well! This unexpected gift from my Penguin guiding star absolutely made my day.

DiruVamp What a great gift! That book looks amazing! 6y
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I do so love that Penguin has published a book about their gorgeous cover designs.

Lacythebookworm I want that book! 6y
WordsOfAPaige This looks amazing! 6y
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Best coffee table book ever? Best coffee table book ever. 😍

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If you are a fan of Penguin Classic's covers, you need this book in your life. It is the coolest! This is for the truest #booknerd. It is the story of the cover designs and pictures of all the covers. I completely love this book!

RealLifeReading Need this! 6y
SusanInTiburon What fun! 6y
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Taking a break from novels while I eat lunch to feast my eyes on this beauty. It's an epic nerdpurr!

Also, I'll be taking over the @Litsy Twitter account at 2pm EST today to talk about books and #24in48. Because BOOOOOOOOOOKS. ♥️📚🤘🏻

balletbookworm I want this book so bad. Going to treat myself to it next week for my birthday :) 6y
subwayreads Whaaaat this is amazing 6y
GuiltyFeat Mmmmm... Want... Book. 6y
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DiruVamp Oh that looks fabulous!! 6y
MamaGina I need this in my life!🐧💕 6y
meggofrank Waaaaant 6y
Ampersand Well, I just ordered this. Thanks, Liberty, for causing me to spend more money. Hahaha. 6y
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We had coffee with the Penguin Classics team last week, and they treated us to a copy of the much anticipated “Classic Penguin Cover to Cover.” Admission: We haven‘t been able to put this beauty down since, and the rest of our summer reading pile looks resentful. Highly recommend!

HotCocoaReads This is lovely! 6y
Obviousstate @HotCocoaReads It's beautiful! We can't stop leafing through it. 6y
natshell What a treasure! 6y
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Reviewsbylola That looks really cool! 6y
Liberty OOOO YES. 6y
MrBook Wow! Very cool. 6y
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Angelala007 Ohhhh! Penguin covers excite me sooooo much 6y
RobinHoodReads That looks awesome!! 6y
DianeDeMasi Ooohhh (wipes drool from mouth), must get one. 😍 6y
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