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Francesco Tirelli’s Ice Cream Shop

When Francesco Tirelli was a young boy he loved ice cream, and at least once a day he would find a reason to pass by his uncle’s ice cream wagon, where he would be given an ice cream full of different flavors by his uncle. When Francesco grew up he still loved ice cream, even when he moved from Italy to Budapest in Hungary. But there he couldn’t find anything that tasted like his uncle’s ice cream, so he decided to open an ice cream store so that the children in Budapest could also enjoy delicious Italian ice cream. One of these children was a boy called Peter, who loved Francesco’s ice cream so much that he would come to the store every day.

Then the war broke out, and the Germans invaded Hungary. People didn’t feel like buying ice cream anymore, and Peter’s family was in grave danger because they were Jewish. Francesco had a brave idea: he decided to help them and other Jews. He hid them in his store the whole winter, until the war was over. That is how Francesco Tirelli saved the lives of Peter and his Jewish neighbors.

With humor, Tamar Meir has written a story about a good man, who despite all the evil around him rose up and performed a moral deed, choosing to save people when they were in trouble. The book is based on a true story that the writer heard from her father-in-law, Yitzhak (Peter) Meir, who was the little boy whose life Francesco saved.

Czech, English, Italian, Russian
Title Francesco Tirelli’s Ice Cream Shop
Writer's Last Name Meir
Writer's First Name Tamar
Genre Children
Ages 5-8
Illustrations Yael Albert
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
No. Pages 32pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Chanut Ha-Glida Shel Francesco Tirelli
  • “The book succeeds in sensibly dealing with one of the most complicated issues to present to children—the Holocaust.”

    Itay Ilnai, Yedioth Ahronoth
  • “The straightforward plot and the excellent illustrations highlight the rescue story in a clear and convincing way. Worthwhile! ”

    Yehiam Padan, Bestbooks.co.il
  • “In this superb book, Tamar Meir has succeeded in telling the story of her husband’s family in direct language, outstanding for its precision, free of pretension and of sentimentality, with humor and with moving sensitivity. Mainly because her book isn’t a Holocaust book … Despite the horrifying backdrop, the book is suffused with ice cream flavors, with the scenery of Venice and Budapest, and in the main with optimism and faith in the human spirit … The whole story is told as a magical children’s fairy story whose only fault is that it ends too soon. I found myself completely drawn into it … The illustrations by Yael Albert are no less enchanting. The illustrator has done exemplary work in the style of mid-20th century, in brilliant colors, succeeding to give the book a touch of authenticity, placing the reader into the spirit of the time as well as the spirit of the writer. This book is primarily a children’s book, but it’s also a marvelous book for adults. ”