Francesco Tirelli's Ice Cream Shop

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 6   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Francesco Tirelli loved to eat gelato from his uncle’s cart. So when he moves from Italy to Hungary, Francesco decides to open his own ice cream store. There young Peter learns to love ice cream as much as Francesco did. But when the war comes and Francesco closes his shop for the winter, he uses the shop for a special purpose—to hide his Jewish friends and neighbors from danger. This heroic tale is based on true events.

Format Your Price
Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 6
Reading Level Grade 4
Genre Fiction, Picture Books
Category Diversity
Copyright 2019
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®, Lerner Digital ™
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2019-08-01
Text Type Fiction—Historical
BISACS JUV016060, JUV033020, JUV039220
Dewey [E]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Lexile 620
ATOS Reading Level 3.9
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 503205
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Author/Illustrator biography and Reviewed


Global ITL

“This moving tale shows how one person’s courage can make all the difference in the world.” — Nanette McGuiness, Global ITL

The Horn Book Magazine

“A hopeful tale of kindness, resourcefulness, and comfort in Hanukkah traditions.”—The Horn Book Magazine

Jewish Book Council

“Francesco Tirelli’s Ice Cream Shop is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for chil­dren but will also be appre­ci­at­ed by adults because of its excep­tion­al art­work and intel­li­gent text. A brief ‘Epi­logue’ fills in facts and informs read­ers of Francesco Tirelli’s recog­ni­tion by Yad Vashem.”—Jewish Book Council

Publishers Weekly

“An ice cream shop becomes a WWII safe haven in this family story turned picture book. In Italy, Francesco Tirelli (Meir’s father-in-law) stops at his uncle’s ice cream cart every day, even when his mother tells him ‘Enough!’ And he remains devoted to gelateria, eventually opening a successful ice cream shop in Budapest, where he meets a Jewish boy named Peter who shares his affection for the treat. After Nazi forces invade Hungary, Tirelli offers his seasonally closed store as a hiding place for Peter’s family and others, who gather together in the back room, light Hanukkah candles, and pray for the war’s end. Though the picture book format seems young for readers within the intended age range, Albert’s mood-shifting illustrations and the moving anecdote offer an accessible take on a terrible chapter of history.”—Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal

“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.”―School Library Journal


“A gentle, yet heroic addition to Holocaust literature.”— Kay Weisman, Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“An accessible and memorable account for young readers of one man’s humanity during the Holocaust.”―Kirkus Reviews

Author: Tamar Meir

Tamar Meir holds degrees in Talmud and Jewish philosophy, and a PhD in literature from Bar-Ilan University. She is head of the Literature Department at the Givat Washington College of Education and teaches at Efrata College and at Bar-Ilan University. This is her first children's book. It has won both the Yad Vashem Prize and the Devorah Omer Prize for Children's Literature. Tamar lives in Israel.

Illustrator: Yael Albert

Yael Albert is an illustrator based in Tel-Aviv. She was born and raised in Israel, where she graduated with honors from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.