Empty and Me: A Tale of Friendship and Loss (English and Persian Edition)

Empty and Me: A Tale of Friendship and Loss (English and Persian Edition)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
  • Maryam Tahmasebi
  • Parisa Saranj (Translator)
Publisher Name
Lee & Low Books
Age Range
Release Date
October 03, 2023
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.

Editor review

1 review
Perfect Conversational Starter About Grief
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Empty and Me is about a girl who has lost her mother and now empty is always how she feels and is always with her. The emptiness is illustrated with a ghostly blob that is always by her side and often shown in between her and others. The illustrations are gray and subdued to convey the emotional emptiness the little girl has. There are some positive changes like finding a stray kitten, that help her regain some color in her life. This book handles grief sensitively for young readers who need help processing the new empty in their lives. I can see this being a great book to use for therapists and counselors to help their young charges express the heaviness and the hole left behind by losing a loved one. The book has side-by-side English and Persian text. Overall, this is a lovely book that handles the reality of grief very well. It would not be for the casual young reader but for one who needs help and is read under the supervision of a grown-up who can help navigate a conversation about the book and the feelings it portrays.
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