“Emma, who’s 97, said the most ‘kid’ thing just now; when I asked how old she is, she said, ‘97- almost 98′- just like a kid would,” says Tim J. Myers, the author featured at Emma Kaliterna’s May 3 Children’s Author Event held at the Central Park Library.
“Emma has friends who wanted to sponsor this program in her honor,” says Erin Ulrich, program coordinator of youth services at the city library. “Every year we would have a children’s author do a talk. And we hold it during Children’s Book Week. All the attending children get a free book, paid for by Emma’s friends through the Emma Kaliterna grant. This is our third year and we have seven more years to go with this special annual book talk.
Kaliterna is known for her hairdressing talents and philanthropy work. She has fundraised over $100,000 through the years for many causes, including the Santa Clara City Library, the Harris-Lass house and local schools.
Myers, a local author, writes books for children and adults. He is able to smoothly capture an audience’s attention with his animated storytelling. At the author talk, Myers elicited smiles and chuckles from both children and adults as he read two of his books and told a story.
“Fifteen years ago, Tim and I met at Millikin Elementary School; they were doing a family literacy afternoon,” Ulrich says. “Tim read ‘The Furry-Legged Teapot’ and I absolutely fell in love with it. His storytelling techniques are fabulous.”
“One of my colleagues told me about an incident that happened when her daughter was six,” says Myers, sharing the inspiration behind his new picture book. “The little girl seemed out of sorts, so her mother asked her what was wrong. The girl said, ‘I don’t know. I’m just full of empty.’ And that gave me and my wife [Dr. M. Priscilla Myers] the idea for this book.
“‘Full of empty’- it doesn’t seem to make sense. But it actually makes perfect sense.”
Each child in the audience received a copy of “Full of Empty,” by the Myers husband and wife team. Reading the book aloud, Myers introduced the young protagonist, Princess Claire. Princess Claire, whose smile had faded away, said she was “full of empty.” Her royal parents couldn’t figure out what was wrong. The doctor couldn’t diagnose any illness, the royal cook’s feast was met with disinterest and the royal entertainers couldn’t catch Claire’s attention. She even refused music and toys. Finally Claire revealed that she just wanted the king and queen to play with her. The solution to cure Claire’s blues was such an obvious one, but one that can often be overlooked by busy parents.
On Tuesday, May 24 at 7 p.m., Myers will be presenting a parenting program called “How to Make Your Child Happier-and Smarter-Through Play” at the Central Park Library.