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Francesco Tirelli's Ice Cream Shop

Tamar Meir

AGE: 5-8


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.


Illustrations: Yael Albert



The book succeeds in sensibly dealing with one of the most complicated issues to present to children—the Holocaust.

Itay Ilnai, Yedioth Ahronoth


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.   

Joseph Isaac Lifshitz, Makor Rishon


To read a book dealing with the Holocaust era to little children is always a challenge … This is the perfect book for this purpose … Why did I like this book so much? Because it is written at eye level and at times it is even amusing. There are no descriptions of horrors, the drawings are colorful and captivating, and when I read it to my son I felt that he was actually identifying with the characters, via the love of ice cream and the humor. The book does not prettify the dismal reality of life during the war, conveying only what is essential that children know and what they can take in. This was the first time I’d read a book about the Holocaust to my son without a racing heartbeat and anxieties … It softens the difficult experience and turns the story into a kind of magical fairy story … A must book for every home. 

Meira Barnea Goldberg, Mako; Melabes


The straightforward plot and the excellent illustrations highlight the rescue story in a clear and convincing way. Worthwhile! 

Yehiam Padan,


A tender, refined, captivating book, which makes the subject of the Holocaust accessible to young children while stressing humanity and morality. The story is accompanied by lovely and delicately painted illustrations by Yael Albert. A story of rare courage and great inspiration.

Adi Relevy, Motke

In the book itself the word “Holocaust” does not appear. Neither does the word “Nazis.” It is actually written with humor … Apart from the topic of the Holocaust, the book conveys an important message: Where no one is human, be human … This important message is put across in a nice and straightforward manner in this book.

Gadi Eidelheit, Literary Blog

Title Francesco Tirelli's Ice Cream Shop
Author’s Last Name Meir
Author's First Name Tamar
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre children-picture bk
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2017
No. Pages 32 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Chanut Ha-Glida Shel Francesco Tirelli
Representation Represented by ITHL


English: Minneapolis, Kar-Ben,Forthcoming

Italian: Rome, Gallucci, 2018

Czech: Prague , Prah, 2020

Russian: Moscow, Knizhniki, 2020




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