Francesco Tirelli’s Ice Cream Shop

Kar-Ben. Aug. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781541534650; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781541534742.
Gr 3-6–Ice cream connects generations and cultures in this nostalgic story of harboring Jewish people during the Holocaust. Francesco Tirelli loved visiting his uncle’s ice cream shop in Italy so much that when he grew up and moved to Budapest, he opened his own gelato shop. Though critics claimed he would never be able to sell ice cream like his uncle, Tirelli established a thriving business in the center of town, where all enjoyed his frozen treats. During World War II, he turned his shop into a shelter to hide his Jewish neighbors. The business became a safe place where the Jewish residents of Budapest could remain out of sight and even celebrate their traditions, including Hanukkah. After the war was over, one of the small children hidden in the shop, Peter Mayer, grew up to open an ice cream shop in Israel. In the epilogue, it’s revealed that the author is the daughter-in-law of Mayer.
VERDICT With lighthearted illustrations and a hopeful story, this picture book translated from Hebrew offers an additional perspective on the events of World War II and the Holocaust

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