The Time Machine Cover


(because it’s never too late to apologize)

By: Pauline David-Sax

Illustrated by: Melquea Smith

Published: October 2, 2023

Publisher: Cardinal Rule Press


If any of us could build a time machine, we would go back in time to when we were kids or maybe to live in a different generation (I’d choose the 1950s). But, Bailey wants to build a time machine to go back to last Thursday. It was a day that she hurt her best friend Nia’s feelings. It was a day she would like to do over and not say “The Thing” that she didn’t mean to say.

It isn’t easy to apologize and every time Bailey tries, she gets a lump in her throat and can’t say “I’m sorry”. So, she decided to build a Time Machine instead. But, when her mom or brother don’t have time to help her she starts working on it by herself…until she hears a familiar voice behind her.

Apologies are hard for adults, so naturally they will be hard for kids as well. But, it is an important skill to learn how to apologize properly. In this story, all one friend needed to hear was “I’m sorry.” and all was forgiven. Kids will learn that sometimes an apology can be as simple as that, as long as it is said with true meaning behind it. Acknowledging what went wrong and not making excuses are key to a good apology. The back of the book includes other tips for kids on giving an apology.

The illustrations show appropriate expressions for the hurt feelings as well as the joy of forgiveness. We’ve all said or done something silly and/or hurtful and can all be encouraged to make things right with a friend through this story.

Check out the book trailer below:

Award-winning author and longtime educator, Pauline David-Sax, likes to think of writing as a time machine that allows her to revisit the past, examine the present, and explore the future. She is the author of the picture book Everything In Its Place and several plays. Pauline lives in Brooklyn, New York. Check out her website, HERE.

Melquea Smith is an illustrator who has experience wanting to unsay the Thing, even now as an adult! When not illustrating, you can find her hoarding artbooks like a dragon, concocting tea blends like a witch, and cuddling her sweet tabby cats. Melquea is the illustrator of Two Homes in Omar’s Heart (and is illustrating another picture book. She is a SCBWI member and an admin of #BlackCreatorsHeadquarters, which supports and amplifies Black stories in the Publishing industry.

Cardinal Rule Press produces high-quality children’s literature, empowering children with messages of hope, courage, and the Golden Rule. Their releases represent today’s diversity while remaining dedicated to messages that make a difference. For more Cardinal Rule Press titles, be sure to visit their bookshelf.

To purchase a copy of THE TIME MACHINE, click the photo below:

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Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.

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