Full of Empty
Author(s): Tim J. Myers, Priscilla Myers
Princess Claire’s smile has flown away like a bird—and now she feels “full of empty.” But there’s a way to bring that smile back . . . if only . . .
Every child gets bored or lonely—and this warm-hearted story teaches parents and children that a parent’s time and full attention are the best remedy. Full of Empty reminds parents that playing with their children is an important form of love. From award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Tim J. Myers, this beautifully illustrated book will bring home the power of quality time.
"What to do when you're feeling blue? In this original fairy tale, Princess Claire is feeling out of sorts. When a page notices and informs her parents, she tells them that she is 'full of empty.' Drawings in a rich, jewel-toned palette, which shifts with each double-page spread, show the princess as a variety of solutions is explored. The doctor says she's fine. Food, dance, music, stories, and toys are offered up by various members of the multiracial kingdom—Claire herself is mixed-race—but to no avail. It's not until the page encourages her parents to reassure her that they are not too busy to play with her that things look up. While the intentions here—to give credence to feelings, to encourage parental attention—are laudable, the message seems directed toward parents rather than children; Claire does not learn anything herself. The kingdom in which race is not an issue, the Middle Eastern setting, and the egalitarian recognition of the page's help are all more than welcome. Overall, though, the story seems a vehicle for inclusion of social-emotional issues and often ignored facets of global culture rather than a strong, child-focused tale in its own right. Still, young listeners will enjoy the fairy-tale aspect, the appealing pictures, and the satisfying ending, in which Claire gets the comfort and company she needs. An inclusive tale with the needs of a child at heart."
"The husband-and-wife Myers team transports readers to a kingdom whose onion-dome towers, ornately patterned arches and walls, and bustling markets evoke an Arabian Nights-type setting. There, the seemingly oxymoronic idea of being 'full of empty' represents the sadness affecting young Princess Claire. The king and queen pull out all the stops to try to help their daughter feel better, and Sorge makes the kingdom feel like a vibrant cultural crossroads, as fan dancers, Chinese dragons, storytellers, and musicians are paraded in, in an attempt to entertain Princess Claire, all to no avail. A quiet game of jacks with her parents, however, brings Claire’s smile 'flying back like a bird.' Lush illustrations, a culturally diverse setting, a devoted set of parents, and the suggestion that time and togetherness can help heal emotional wounds give the story a strong impact.Ages 4–8. (Mar.)"
"This beautifully illustrated book . . . will bring home the power of quality time in the lives of children. Superbly crafted and impressively presented."
—Midwest Book Review
"With lavish and detailed illustrations, this is a well-told cautionary tale for today's busy families."
—Bay Area News Group