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Pottermas: What My Patronus Says About Me

Today on Pottermas, we’re talking about what our patronus’ say about us. After reading this post, be sure to hop over and read about Nicole’s and Marci’s patronus’, too! Be sure to follow Pottermas on Twitter and Instagram, too, using the #Pottermas16.

My patronus is a Nebelung Cat

Nebelung in German means, “creature of the mist”, which is also a reference to the cats silver-blue coat. That sounds like the perfect appearance for a patronus.

The nebelung cat has a reputation to be gentle, quiet, and sometimes shy. Similar to most cats, though, they enjoy playing and climbing and observing their surroundings from high points. The nebelung cats are known to be sensitive. If they don’t receive the same amount of attention that they give, they become offended and anxious.

It sounds like my cat, Ezio could be a nebelung cat in spirit, but my cat is a shorthair while the nebelung is a longhaired cat.

Not much information is known about the patronus’ yet. I have come across ‘What Kind of Girlfriend You Are Based on Your Pottermore Patronus”. The result for the Nebelung cat is as follows, “You’re as mild and as tranquil as they come. Always ready to listen and be a sounding board for your significant other.” I’d agree with that.


What is your patronus? What do you think that says about you? Let me know in the comments below, or take to social media using #Pottermas16! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!

– Elizabeth

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Pottermas: 10 Underrated Moments in Harry Potter

Today’s Pottermas post is all about our top ten favorite moments from Harry Potter that are a bit underrated or underappreciated. After reading my post, be sure to jump over to Nicole’s and Marci’s moments, too! Let’s get into it! Here’s my list, in no particular order:

10. Narcissa Malfoy checks Harry Potter for a pulse. Upon feeling life, she asks if her son, Draco is alive inside the castle. – In my Harry Potter re-reads (and film watching), I always flew past this part without giving it much thought at all. Now, pregnant with my son, this part has so much more meaning for me. At this point, Narcissa completely gives up caring if Voldemort is successful or not and her main concern is for her son. I was absolutely overcome with emotion while rewatching this scene and it’s become a favorite part for me.

9. The Unbreakable Vow – OK, so it’s obvious I have a newfound love for Narcissa Malfoy, don’t judge me! Narcissa asks Snape to take the unbreakable vow and do everything within his power to watch over and protect Draco. Again, I love the mother in Narcissa – she really puts her son first and that speaks to me.

8. When Ginny Weasley forgot her diary at the Burrow – Remember that time that Ginny forgot her diary and the Weasleys had to return to the Burrow to get it before the train? This part always makes me laugh because the entire story almost didn’t happen!

7. Harry talks to a snake at the zoo! – This is the first time that Harry talks to snakes and it’s a major foreshadowing. I find snakes to be cute creatures and I have always enjoyed this part in the book when Harry talks to the snake. It was bred in captivity and it’s heartbreaking, but the vanishing glass gives the snake just the start it needs.

6. Nagini – Nagini’s first appearance in the books is definitely underappreciated. She’s so loyal to Voldemort, that she alerts him to the presence of the muggle gardener in the hallway who has just overheard a private conversation. (Also, yea, I may have a thing for snakes…)

5. The Jealous Lovebirds – In Goblet of Fire, Ron and Hermione are both a bit jealous. Ron jealous of Hermione and Krum, while Hermione is jealous of Fleur’s kiss to Ron’s cheek. It’s cute to see that there is an attraction already and the romance is starting to take shape!

4. Skirmish in the Forbidden Forest – In which we learn that you should never anger the centaurs. I have to admit I felt giddy when the centaurs rode away carrying Umbridge. (I really don’t like her.)

3. Dumbledor, the Knitter – I think Dumbledor as a knitter is underappreciated. I wish there was more knitting in the books. I totally want to start a knitting circle with him.

2. Follow the Doe – Perhaps this part isn’t underrated. I feel like everything surrounding Severus Snape is overly discussed and analyzed. That being said, he is one of my favorite characters and I couldn’t make this list without adding something that pertains to him. I love when the doe patronus beckons Harry to the lake where the Sword of Gryffindor resides. Snape is helping Harry! It leaves me in such a good mood.

1. “Tell me, what exactly is the function of a rubber duck?” – Now I’m cheating a bit here. Arthur asks about the rubber duck in the film and asks Harry about escalators in the book. I just find this scene hilarious and I wanted to include it. Every time I see a rubber duck in the store, I always think about Arthur Weasley and this scene.


That’s my list of underrated or underappreciated moments in Harry Potter. I hope you enjoyed reading it! Let me know in the comments below what some of your favorite underappreciated moments are. Don’t forget to follow and tweet about Pottermas using the #Pottermas16

See ya next time, witches and wizards!

– Elizabeth

Ch-Ch-Ch-CHANGES!

This post is to talk about upcoming changes and to also get your opinions on some ideas I’ve had. First, though, Happy December to you! This is my favorite month! I am a Christmas lover – Seriously, I’m that obnoxious person who starts playing Christmas music as the last Trick-or-treater leaves my front steps! It’s also the last month of the year and I look forward to new starts in January. Speaking of new starts. . .Book Yabber will be undergoing some MAJOR CHANGES!

I started Book Yabber in August of 2013. It started as just a book review blog. Then I channeled the focus to young adult books. I expanded again to include middle grade and children’s books. I expanded yet again to return back to where I started, a book review blog. Apparently, I’ve come full circle. I read all kinds of books and I love to write reviews, so I made my blog a space where I could do that. Now that I’m changing as a person, I feel my blog should also reflect that.

DON’T PANIC! There will still be book reviews! I could never stop reviewing books. But I’m expanding again to welcome all kinds of posts! Let me break it down. You can expect to see:

  • Movie Reviews
  • TV Episode/Series (Netflix Specials) Reviews
  • Craft Tutorials
  • Personal Blog Posts
  • Product Reviews
  • Video Games Talk

ETC!!! It’s going to be a lifestyle blog, but I reserve the right to write about anything! I am going to try to keep politics out of it, but it might come up every now and again.

As you may know, I’m entering my 7th month of pregnancy. This is my first pregnancy and all I’ve wanted to do was blog about my experience. I wrestled back and forth with the idea of just posting my rants and experiences here, but it didn’t fit the theme of the thing. So that’s what first got me thinking about expanding. My son is due in March and I’m sure posts will slow down, but I’m going to do my best. I don’t want to stop blogging – that’s definitely not in the cards for me. I love to write and this is my outlet. I might include development updates about my son and any parenting hacks I discover. I’m really excited for this new journey.

Movie Reviews: This is pretty straight forward. My husband and I have been to the movies a lot lately because we’re taking advantage of the time we have left just the two of us. I’ve seen Doctor Strange, Moana, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Arrival (which I don’t recommend for pregnant women. I cried for days afterward.) My husband and I plan to see Passengers and Rogue One this month, and we’ll pack in the movies between now and our son’s birth. You’ll see those reviews!

TV Episode/Series (Netflix Specials) – I have A LOT to say about the highly anticipated Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, which I will post in January. I don’t want much TV, but late night feedings with my son, I have a feeling I’ll be watching pretty much everything on Netflix.

Craft Tutorials – I love to Craft! I actually just made a Christmas Countdown for my husband. There’s a card for each day – sometimes it’s a compliment, sometimes it’s a date, and sometimes it’s just something silly. But I will post about stuff like that. Especially once my son is old enough to craft with me.

Personal Blog Posts: This is a pretty open topic. Everything from recipes I loved to rants to family activities, etc!

Product Reviews: I’m not much of a makeup person, so you won’t see those kinds of products. I will review lotions, bath bombs/products, etc.

Video Game Talk – I am a gamer who never gets to talk about games, so I’m really excited to have an outlet for this one. I’m excited to talk about game news, video game reviews, perhaps I’ll even post links to game streaming. My husband and I are planning to get the Nintendo Switch when it releases in March, so I’ll definitely be talking about that.

It’s really quite an exciting change and I hope you’ll come along with me! When you change your Twitter handle, all your followers remain, so that’s easy. With Bloglovin’, I think when I change the URL the followers won’t transfer over, so be on the lookout on Twitter for the new bloglovin’ link. Nothing is going to happen until January, so don’t worry Pottermas fans! It’s Pottermas all December here on Book Yabber!

I know that was a lot of information to take in, but please let me know what you think in the comments below! Do you have any posts you’d like to see on the new blog? Let’s chat about it!

– Elizabeth

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Pottermas: An Introduction

Happy Pottermas 2016! Pottermas is a feature that lasts all December long. It’s a Harry Potter re-read and a month of Harry Potter featured blog posts. This is the SECOND year of Pottermas! Nicole of Nicole’s Novel Reads and I started this feature together last December. We’re so happy to see it back and exciting news, we’ve added a new host! We’d like to introduce you to our new host, Marci of The Plot Bunny!! Welcome, Marci!

Since welcoming Marci along on this journey, we thought the first post of Pottermas should be an introduction! Read this post to learn all about me and then hop over to read about Nicole and Marci, too! Tell us about you in the comments!

*Follow along with Pottermas on Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #Pottermas16

Hello there! I’m Elizabeth! I’m a twenty-something wife and soon-to-be first time mother. My hobbies include knitting, playing video games, and reading, of course. I’ve been book blogging for almost four years. I’m that obnoxious person who starts decorating and counting down to Christmas the day after Halloween, chanting the mantra, “it’s never too early!”.

I’m an avid hockey fan – been that way for as long as I can remember. I was a Boston Bruins girl growing up in New York State – imagine the controversy. My husband and I are currently located in Massachusetts, so I finally fit in and feel home.

A few of my favorite authors include: Jenny Han, Emery Lord, Amy Lukavics, Lauren Oliver, Nova Ren Suma, and Stephen King.

In the wizarding world, I belong to Slytherin house. My Ilvermorny house is Horned Serpent. The wand that chose me is made of cedar wood with a dragon heartstring core, 12.5 in. in length, and unbending flexibility. When I cast my patronus, a nebelung cat erupts from my wand.


Thanks so much for stopping by to read all about me! I hope you’ll tell me a bit about yourself in the comments, too! What are you most excited for about Pottermas 2016? Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram and Twitter with #Pottermas16!!


Elizabeth

I’m Thankful.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is Thanksgiving Freebie. I’m going to list what I’m thankful for.

Personal

1. My Growing Family:

I’ll try to keep this brief and not get too emotional (I am pregnant, after all). My husband and I married in 2012. We started trying for a baby early 2016 – two months later, we got our first positive test. I’ve since connected with a lot of expecting mothers and I’ve listened to their tales. I’m so thankful that my husband and I conceived so quickly and that it’s been smooth sailing. Our baby is healthy and for that I am beyond thankful. I love my family more than anything and I wouldn’t change a thing. For them, I am thankful.

2. My House:

If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that we recently bought our first house. We moved in in August. I’m so thankful for this dream house and that we have somewhere to live.

3. Food:

Being pregnant has really given me a new appreciation for food. Of course I ate before, but now, if I don’t eat every two hours, I get sick. This growing baby needs A LOT of food. I’m thankful that my husband and I can constantly keep our house stocked with food and I’m thankful for cheese, nuts, and protein shakes.

4. Friends:

I’m very thankful for the friends that I have. They are my support system and we’re always there for one another. It’s wonderful to have that kind of relationship where you’re never alone.

5. Sleep:

I’m thankful for sleeping. Believe me, I’m taking full advantage of sleep now while I can. My baby isn’t keeping me awake during the night yet, so I’m loving every second of it. Baby does tend to wake me up at 5AM every morning, but it’s not long before I can fall back asleep.

Books

6. The Start of You and Me by Emery Lord:

(Goodreads) I’m thankful that Emery Lord is an author in general, but this book left me in such a good place. This book encouraged me to make lists and challenge myself.

7. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han:

(Goodreads) Here’s another author that I’m thankful for in general. Jenny’s books make me feel so happy. They’re cute romance stories that I really need in my life.

8. Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling:

(Goodreads) This is a given. I am so thankful for Harry Potter. I don’t know where I’d be today without Harry Potter. Fun fact: The theme of my baby shower is Harry Potter!

9. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath:

(Goodreads) I love this classic so much. I read it in a time of need. Since then, I try to make the time to read it every year.

10. The Martian by Andy Weir:

(Goodreads) My husband had been trying to get me to read adult science fiction for a while. He asked me what I wanted/liked. I said realistic space travel with an edge of horror. Andy Weir delivered. I read this book and I absolutely love it. I’m thankful for books like this.


Thanks so much for reading! I hope you and your family have an amazing Thanksgiving!


XO,
Elizabeth

Why I Couldn’t Finish WHAT LIGHT by Jay Asher


WHAT LIGHT by Jay Asher
Published: October 18 2016
Pages: 256
Source/Format: Purchased/Audiobook
Goodreads Synopsis: Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

For most of 2016, I had been on a horror kick. We were a week into November and Christmas was on my mind. I wanted a cute Christmas themed contemporary. I searched my TBR list and found WHAT LIGHT by Jay Asher. I was expecting a cute, short Christmasy read.

I enjoyed the beginning of this story. Sierra and her family are Christmas tree farmers. I could imagine a field full of Christmas trees and it made me feel happy. The ins and outs of running this farm were explained and I found it quite interesting. I have to say it was my favorite part of the book.

It doesn’t take long for the love interest to enter the scene. The whole book so far has portrayed the main character as someone who is cautious and perhaps a bit picky when it comes to dates. This boy walks in and she seems to be an entirely different person. Where was that girl who was cautious and reserved? That character felt contradictory to me.

I read a little past half and the whole plot felt too simple. The only thing that was going on was the main romance and I wasn’t really invested. It wasn’t believable in the slightest. Personally, I like my contemporaries to have a bit of dept and conflict. This just seemed too flat and simple.

I stopped reading where I did because I didn’t care for the characters, the book was too simple, the main character was contradictory, and I had absolutely zero curiosity as to how it would all pan out. Not every book written is going to be great for every reader, and this was an example of a book that wasn’t great for me. I cannot give this book a star rating as I have not finished it.


Thanks for stopping by to read my review. What are your favorite holiday reads this time of year? Let me know in the comments below as I’m in the market for some recommendations.


XO
Elizabeth

Nonfiction Review: JUNIPER: THE GIRL WHO WAS BORN TOO SOON by Kelley French & Tom French


JUNIPER: THE GIRL WHO WAS BORN TOO SOON by Kelley and Tom French
PUblished: September 13 2016
Pages: 336
Source/Format: Library/Hard Cover
Goodreads Synopsis: Juniper French was born four months early, at 23 weeks’ gestation. She weighed 1 pound, 4 ounces, and her twiggy body was the length of a Barbie doll. Her head was smaller than a tennis ball, her skin was nearly translucent, and through her chest you could see her flickering heart. Premature babies like Juniper, born at the edge of viability, trigger the question: Which is the greater act of love–to save her, or to let her go?

Kelley and Thomas French chose to fight for Juniper’s life, and this is their incredible tale. In one exquisite memoir, the authors explore the border between what is possible and what is right. They marvel at the science that conceived and sustained their daughter and the love that made the difference. They probe the bond between a mother and a baby, between a husband and a wife. They trace the journey of their family from its fragile beginning to the miraculous survival of their now thriving daughter.

JUNIPER: THE GIRL WHO WAS BORN TOO SOON is a heart-wrenching story of hope. Juniper was born at 23 weeks 6 days – on the edge of viability. No one knew if she would live or die. Her parents didn’t give up on her and she spent the next few months in an incubator, health fluctuating.

It was a raw and it was emotional. I went through half a box of tissues on this book alone. It’s not a light fluffy read – it’s a hard one. Hard to tell what will happen next and if she’ll survive the next relapse. That being said – I’m happy I read it. I loved seeing Juniper beat the odds and climb her way out of this hole.

Tom, her father, read HARRY POTTER to her and I thought that was absolutely precious. The monitors that Juniper was currently hooked up to could detect mood and Juniper was loving every second of it. This was also special on a personal level because I too have started to read HARRY POTTER aloud to my 19 week old belly.

Tom and Kelley are both award winning journalists and the writing was beautiful. I more preferred Kelley’s writing style to Tom’s, but nonetheless, it was enjoyable reading.

I didn’t want this book to end. I enjoyed it immensely. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a happy ending, anyone who is in need of hope, and I suggest all parents read this book. I rated this book 4/5 – while I loved the story, it’s true that some parts seemed to drag and the book ultimately could have done without.


Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my review! Have you read any great nonfiction books lately? Let me know down in the comments.


XO,
Elizabeth

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is Halloween Freebie. For my post, I’ve decided to do, Top Ten Dream Halloween Family Costumes. Family costumes that I hope my family will dress up as one year. In no particular order, here is my list:

10. The Organa-Solo Family – Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo, and Kylo Ren (Ben Solo) from Star War universe. It’s no surprise that I am a huge Star Wars fan. I named my cat Lady Chewbacca. LOL. It’s such a dream to have my family dress up at the Organa-Solo’s. You can bet that photo would be our Christmas card photo for that year. LOL.

9. Ron, Hermione, Rose, and Hugo Granger-Weasley – I’ve wanted to dress up as Ron and Hermione with my husband for years. He’s tall and has red hair, I’m shorter and have brown out of control hair. It’s perfect!

8. Charmander, Charmeleon, and Charizard – This would be cool! It doesn’t specifically have to be Charmander, but some Pokemon evolution would be cool to do.

7. Evil Queen, Snow White, Dwarves Snow White is my favorite princess and I think it would be fun to do a family costume.

6. Jack, Sally, and Zero – I’ve also been after my husband to dress up as the Jack to my Sally, but he never went for it. I hope he’ll do it this time and we’ll have our own Zero this time!

5. Max and two Wild Things – This is from WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and it’s one of my favorite children’s books ever. I think it would be cute to have a child Max and two adult Wild Things.

4. Dr. Alan Grant, Dr. Ellie Sattler, Lex Murphy, Tim Murphy – This would be such a fun one to do! Perhaps carry around a toy dinosaur as a prop! Haha. (This is from JURASSIC PARK, if that wasn’t obvious.)

3. Darth Vader and Stormtroopers – OK, so this is the second STAR WARS costume mentioned, but can I get some credit for only listing two? I definitely wanted to add more, but I had self control. We could carry around an external speaker that would play the Imperial March all night. LOL.

2. Christopher Robin, Pooh Bear, and Piglet – How cute would this be! Christopher Robin would be a super easy costume too! Blue shorts and a yellow polo shirt. All set! Quite the cute trio.

1. The Doctor, Amy Pond, Weeping Angels – I’m not that big of a DOCTOR WHO fan, but I have to admit that the weeping angels are my favorite. Amy Pond was also my favorite companion, so it works out perfectly. How cute would a tiny weeping angel be?!


I can’t wait to have a tiny human to dress up on Halloweens. It’s going to be so fun and definitely adorable!! What are some of your dream family/couple costumes? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my post! I hope you have a great Tuesday and a great Halloween! Remember to be safe while out on Halloween night!

XO
Elizabeth

Checking In!

Usually Tuesdays are for Top Ten Tuesdays, but today I wanted to switch things up a bit. Today’s post is to check in! I’ll share with you what I’ve been reading, watching, and enjoying lately, and I hope you’ll do the same with me in the comments!

Reading:


Lately I’ve been reading a non-fiction book, JUNIPER: THE GIRL WHO WAS BORN TOO SOON by Kelley French and Thomas French.

It’s the story of Juniper French, who was born at the very early 23 weeks gestation. She weighed 1 pound and 4 ounces. Her parents, Kelley and Thomas chose to fight for her life.

It’s a story that as soon as I heard about it, I had to immediately move it to the top of my TBR. As you may know from my last post, I’m currently pregnant. I’m currently 17 weeks along to be more exact. This story just called to me. I put in a request at my library, and some very long weeks later, it was finally available for pick up!

So that’s what I’m reading right now. It’s proving to be quite the emotional read, but I’m really enjoying it. What are you currently reading?


Anticipating:

I haven’t been watching much on television, but there are a few movies that I absolutely cannot wait for!

Pictures courtesy of imdb.com

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Assassin’s Creed. I cannot wait to see these movies! What movies are on your ‘Must See’ lists?


Crafting:

I have three projects in progress right now.

1. I have the body of a baby blanket knit. There are some steps in the pattern regarding the border of the blanket that I don’t know how to do yet, so I’m stalled there for now.

2. I’m also in the middle of knitting a baby hat. This and the aforementioned blanket are both for my baby. My husband chose the yarn colors for the hat and that makes it really special. Mom made it and Dad picked out the yarn. I can’t wait for him/her to wear it!

3. Christmas knitting! I’m not going to go into too much detail here but I’ve started knitting Christmas gifts for friends and family.

4. I bought three craft pumpkins from Michael’s. A big, medium, and small one. I plan to paint my husbands name on the big, my name on the medium, and the baby’s name on the small. We’re going to use that as our name reveal photo. Request to follow me on Instagram to see the finished product in early November!

I’ve also been practicing hand lettering again. I’d like to incorporate that skill into the name reveal for the baby. What crafts are you currently working on, if any?


Life:

  • We find out the baby’s gender at the end of the month! I cannot wait! I’m so, so eager to know what we’re having!
  • I am fully and completely unpacked, finally! Now I’m in desperate need for wall art.
  • Hockey starts up this week! I’m so ready. Summer is so long without hockey.
  • IT’S FALL!!! October is definitely one of my favorite months. I’ve started decorating for Halloween and I’m so pleased with how it’s coming along.

What’s going on with you lately?


Chat with me in the comments! What are you reading? How are you? What movies are you looking forward to seeing? I look forward to talking to you!

XO
Elizabeth

Children’s Book Review: LITTLE ELLIOT, BIG FUN by Mike Curato


LITTLE ELLIOT, BIG FUN by Mike Curato
Published: August 30 2016
Pages: 40
Goodreads Synopsis: Little Elliot, the polka-dotted elephant, and his friend Mouse go to the amusement park to see the sights and ride the rides—water chutes, roller coasters, carousels, and more. But Elliot isn’t having much fun—the rides are too wet, too fast, too dizzy, and just plain too scary—until Mouse figures out a way to help him overcome his fears. Together, Mouse and Little Elliot can do anything!

LITTLE ELLIOT, BIG FUN is the third book in the Elliot series by Mike Curato. It follows best friends Elliot and Mouse as they visit an amusement park. At first Elliot become overwhelmed with the daunting rides and attractions. Mouse rectifies the situation by finding a ride that is more Elliots pace. Once comfortable, Elliot is open to trying new rides and it results in them having a great time.

This was a super fun read. I love how real of an issue it deals with. The issue happens to be prominent in my day to day life. Being overwhelmed and experiencing anxiety is real and it’s OK to remove yourself if you have those feelings. It’s OK to be scared. I love that Mike tackles that issue.

The illustrations in this book are gorgeous as always. Does not disappoint. I especially love the scenic view from the ferris wheel at the end. I also found it clever that the pages flip out as Elliot uncovers his eyes, so you’re seeing at the same time. It’s a little bit smoother than turning to the next page. The flip out pages open up to the scenic view from the ferris wheel I was talking about and it’s breathtaking.

I really loved this book! I can’t wait for the next Elliot book from Mike Curato. I also can’t wait to share these Elliot books with my little baby. (Due in March 2017!)


Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my review! Have you read the Elliot series? What are your favorite picture books? Chat with me in the comments down below.


XO
Elizabeth