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Reader reviews on Amazon.com

"The Topsy-Turvy Towel" - named a Book Sense Top 10 Children's Winter Top Pick

"The Topsy-Turvy Towel" is a rhyming picturebook about three best friends who share a wonderful day together on the beach. Their imaginations transform their simple beach towel into a focus for one fantastic glimpse of adventure after another. The enthusiastic, freestyle color illustrations beautifully enhance the carefree story, rounded out with a handful of sample creative activities on the final two pages.
- Midwest Book Review

Sam, Sally, and Suzy are enjoying a day at the beach. When the ocean carries away the castle they've been building, it's time to create something new. But what? They pick up their towels and they're off on great adventures. This is a picture book ["The Topsy-Turvy Towel"] that encourages kids to use their imagination. The story, when combined with the fabulous activity ideas in the back, make it easy to bring the themes of the book to life: use your imagination to explore. Use everyday objects in new ways; or explore new things.
- The Reading Tub

Turn Off That TV. Author Julie Goulis and illustrator John Ferguson are determined to stretch kids’ imaginations, and enlist the help of a creative boy named Sam, his friends and an ordinary object in “Something Shiny, Something Round”. A hubcap is imagined as everything from a cymbal in a rock ‘n’ roll band to a UFO from outer space, creating a vibrant world of adventure.
Ohio Magazine

Imagination is still the word when it comes to author Julie Goulis and illustrator John Ferguson. “Something Shiny, Something Round” is their sequel to “The Things a String Can Be”. The easy, rhyming text definitely is meant for multiple readings. The illustrations are bold and dominate the pages they’re on. Looking closely at them, one will notice a blending of drawings and actual photographs, which is quite clever. Add this one to your child’s library.
Rockland Review

Children's author Julie Goulis teams up with artist and illustrator John Ferguson in two outstanding picture books for children. Both of these superbly created picture books are enhanced with a free activity guideline/lessons planner at the end of their stories that are fun and educational complements. “The Things A String Can Be” and “Something Shiny, Something Round” are picture book springboards for young imaginations long after the books have been read and returned to school and community library shelves.
Midwest Book Review

Lots of fine work by local authors came our way in 2005, and it’s time take a look back at the best of it… For younger readers, picture book “Something Shiny, Something Round” by author Julie Goulis and illustrator John Ferguson is about imagination and improvisation.
Akron Beacon Journal

The Power of Imagination. The delightful "Something Shiny, Something Round" and "The Things a String Can Be", by Cleveland author Julie Goulis and North Royalton illustrator John Ferguson, are picture books that demonstrate the power of imagination. In "String", the rain has stopped and Sam can go out to play, but his toys are all put away. The only thing he can find to play with is a wet string in a puddle. But in Sam's mind, the string becomes Tarzan's jungle vine and a jump rope. "Shiny", superior because Sam's friends join in more, has the kids finding a hubcap in the snow. Their games make it a ship's wheel, a gladiator's shield and a cymbal.
— Akron Beacon Journal

This book was conceived with an excellent concept in mind and produced with strikingly original illustrations that are beautifully printed. Children will love the pictures and the repetitive phrases. The book is well worth having.
— Ohioana Quarterly

This book is adorable, and young children will be wowed by the bold, colorful graphics. Comendable is the premise of transforming a string into wondrous objects merely by employing one's imagination. Not only is this theme important for children, it is essential in these days of video games and mind numbing television.
— Rockland Review

Finally! A readily-available, very inexpensive answer to the eternal cry 'Mom, I'm bored! There's nothing to do!' Take your child in hand, sit down together, and enjoy reading "The Things a String Can Be". Imagine, all our fancy toys and computer games and it's really just as simple as sitting side-by-side with a book and a piece of string. How wonderful.
— Jennifer Elin Cole, author of "I Love You All The Time" and mother of three

The student's eyes were glued to the book, the pictures and Sam's imaginary adventures. We incorporated the book into a lesson. Each one of my students drew a picture, using their interpretation of the story. "The Things A String Can Be" helped trigger my students' own imagination. Thank you!
— Jen Orley, first grade teacher

My Son loves to read, but is very particular in what he enjoys. Many of the books we own have been read once and then never selected again. Recurring favorites that are read several times a day are "GoodNight Moon", "Click Clack Moo Cows that Type", "Runaway Bunny" and "Mr. Seahorse". "The Things A String Can Be" has joined this distinguised list of books that my son reads over and over. We now read this book three times in a row before bed. He particularly enjoys the bright colors on each page and likes tracing out the string. He also likes to point out all the various animals on each page. This book is a must-have for any child with an active mind.
— D. Kyle Hogarth, MD

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