Empty and Me: A Tale of Friendship and Loss

By Azam Mahdavi
Illustrators Illustrated by Maryam Tahmasebi Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher Lee & Low Books Imprint Lee & Low ISBN


Empty and Me: A Tale of Friendship and Loss

In stock

In this bilingual Persian-English picture book, a little girl learns how to live with the gentle giant that embodies her grief.

After a young girl's mother dies, Empty appears and silently takes up the big blank space left behind. For some time, the girl can't connect with her dad or any friends, and Empty is her closest companion. But then, a happy reminder of her mom pops up one day, and this bit of joy helps the little girl open up to the world around her. Empty stays around, but the little girl starts to connect with others and share new moments of happiness with them.

Originally published in Iran, this bilingual Persian-English picture book provides a gentle starting point for discussing death and grief with young readers. Its spare, poignant text and artwork gives children a concrete point of reference for the complex emotions people experience after the loss of a loved one. Readers of any age, however, will find comfort in the encouraging message of this beautiful book.

Full-color digital illustrations. 
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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

K-Gr 3-This bilingual picture book tells a tale of grief. Upon the death of her mother, a fair-skinned young girl is joined by a large soft being called Empty. Empty travels through life as the girl's friend and is with her everywhere, from school to an amusement park. As hope begins to grow in the form of a plant, the girl is able to find more joy in her life that she can share with Empty, her rescued kitten, and her father. Empty's role in the girl's life helps her move through the world of grief and plant a new beginning. The sepia and gray-toned images, although digitally rendered, mimic colored pencils and set a solemn tone that reinforces the girl's loneliness in a vast world without her mom. The character of Empty is soft curves and bright white, the perfect complement for the sharp edges of loss. Additional characters are diverse in nature and scenes are generic, which helps to support the universal theme and build connections for readers. VERDICT A strong purchase to introduce loss and, not incidentally, expose students to translated works.-Danielle Schwessingerα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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