Timothy Mean and the Time Machine by William A.E. Ford (Author) & Marcela Simonetti (Illustrator) – A Review

Timothy has a big imagination and a week of time to travel it! With his time machine he’ll go everywhere, from the time of the dinosaurs to the far future with flying cars and robots. Travel with him on his journey as he takes a look at different locales in his trusty Time Machine.

Thank you to William Ford for providing me with a copy of his book for review.


about the book - Copy



Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound

Published: 30 January 2019

Publisher: Self-published

Genre(s): Children’s/Picture Books

With Timothy Mean’s amazing imagination and time machine, anything and anywhere is possible! Join Timothy on a magical rhyming adventure as he skips through time and pranks with pirates, gets daring with dragons, and even teases a T-Rex!

“It’s Monday. Hip hip hooray! Where shall we travel in time today?

With Timothy Mean, every day is a rhyme in time!





what i enjoyed
Timothy was a curious, inventive child that built his time machine out of scrap parts in his basement. His crafting skills seem to be on point.

There was a range of historical points of reference that Timothy visited. From the age of dinosaurs to a futuristic time period where robots are teachers, including his own parents’ childhoods and the 1969 lunar moon landing, his went to a lot of places over the course of a week.



what i didn't enjoy - Copy

Some of the rhyme schemes didn’t seem to work too well, thus interrupting the flow of the story (fun/mum for example). There were multiple grammatical choices that fell into this as well and made the flow of the words awkward. If one is reading this aloud, it’s going to sounds strange or at the very least not match what’s on the page.

Timothy Mean feels like an illustrated chapter book that’s trying to cram itself into a picture book format. The chunks of text on each page feel like too much for the format.

Artwise, I thought that the cover was a bit off putting because it seemed like clip art as opposed to the art style found within, which did improve and reminded me of an almost creepy Dave McKean aesthetic.

Whether Timothy actually used a time machine or this was all in his imagination, the actions taken throughout the book are very telling of his personality. I understand his name is quite literally Mean, but he doesn’t really have or get a redeeming quality by the end. There are multiple examples of “naughty” behavior, but by the end his parents quite literally say he has a playful mind and it’s left at that.



to sum it up - Copy

Timothy certainly lived up to his name during the course of this book. He doesn’t interact with anyone else in this book that can be said for sure to be a real person, with the exception of his family on the final page. I’m not sure whether he’d be like this with other people (i.e. the behavior that makes him live up to his name). Is he a bully? Is he a lonely child? Both? There’s a lot of layers to this story that I don’t think really get answered which is, in part, because I think this is feels more like a story that isn’t quite right as a picture book (see my point under Things I Didn’t Enjoy).

Timothy Mean and the Time Machine is a decently illustrated, if overly dark (color wise), decently written book that doesn’t quite connect as a picture book. I don’t think it works as a read aloud experience, but maybe as a teaching experience for how not to act as a mean person.





I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.


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