Tim and the Hidden People is a book series that was created in the seventies by prolific but little known children’s author Shiela K. McCullough. The series centers around the adventures of Tim, a teenage orphan who lives with his Aunt May.  Using a special key Tim has the ability to see the mystical Hidden People, some of which can be trusted, some of which are not and some you are never quite sure.

The books were short at 32 pages long, aimed at 4 – 7 year olds and primarily purchased by schools as tools to get children interested in reading.  There were 32 books in all divided into four series of eight.  In addition to this there were four novels which were more text heavy and aimed at older readers.

The books were wonderfully illustrated by Pat Cook and Ray Mutimer.  To my mind the distinctness of the illustrations are every bit as important in creating the evocative world of the hidden people as Shiela’s dark moonlit tales. One of the big aims of this site was to provide examples of some of the great artwork contained in these books.


Sheila K. McCullagh started her life as a childrens author in the 1950s.  In a career spanning six decades she published hundreds of books, both educational and fictional.

She is probably most known for co-creating the children’s television series Tales from Puddle Lane which aired from 1985 – 1989 on ITV, along with writing many tie in books for the series which were published by Ladybird Books.

In addition to the much beloved Tim and the Hidden People series and Tales from Puddle Lane she has written series such as the Buccaneers, about a boy discovers a magical picture which can take him a world of priates; and the Village with Three Corners which follows the adventures of Roger Red Hat, Billy Blue Hat, twins Johnny and Jennifer Yellow Hat and Percy Green.

Shiela lived well into her nineties but sadly passed away in 2014.