Cover Image: Francesco Tirelli's Ice Cream Shop

Francesco Tirelli's Ice Cream Shop

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Francesco Tirelli's Ice Cream Shop is a charming (albeit sobering) true story about how an ice cream shop saved lives during WWII. Francesco's love of ice cream was initially fostered in his uncle's Italian shop. When Francesco grew up and moved to Hungary, he made the bold move of opening a shop of Italian ice cream (there is a fun little rhyme about ice cream flavors that gets repeated throughout the book).

Francesco's love of ice cream overflowed to a boy named Peter. When his family needed a safe place to hide during the war, Francesco came up with a brilliant plan that saved not only Peter but many others. When Peter grew up, he moved to Israel where he enjoyed telling his grandchildren about his time in that ice cream shop.  This remarkable story was written by his granddaughter, Tamar Meir. I highy recommend this book; it provides an age-appropriate way to introduce the reality of WWII to elementary-age children.

The audiobook was a very entertaining listen, but I would suggest following along with the physical book so children can delight in the engaging illustrations (the cover is a marvelous preview of the sweet things inside!).  

Disclaimer: I received a free digital audiobook of Franceso Tirelli's Ice Cream Shop from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.
Was this review helpful?
A short, surprising story about finding a small comfort in the midst of uncertainty and fear. I wasn't expecting anything beyond a light-hearted read and was pleasantly impressed with the quality of the story as well as its biographical nature.

This review appears on my goodreads as well.
Was this review helpful?
Amazing story about a man who saved Jewish people during WWII. This book is a great introduction to the Holocaust for children and teaches them about kindness to others and how those simple and acts of kindness can save someone from many horrors.. I would definitely recommend this book and will be buying a hard copy for my son  who very much enjoyed the story. 
Thank you to #NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for a fair and honest review. 
#FrancescoTirellisIceCreamShop
Was this review helpful?
True WWII Story About Helping the Jews

I love fictionalized history written in story form for children. This is one such book. We learn of a young boy, Francesco, who loves ice cream and particularly enjoys it from his uncle's shop. The boy continues to love ice cream as he grows. He moves to Hungary and wants to open an ice cream shop in Budapest. Given that this was in the early 1900s, opening an ice cream store in Hungary was highly unusual. But this ice-cream-loving man opened up his ice cream store. Later, when World War II comes knocking on Hungary's door, Francesco decides to help Jews hide by finding places for them and even hides them in the back of his ice cream shop. He even finds a way to help them celebrate Hanukkah. This story is written by a relative of Peter, a boy of one of the saved families featured in the story. While I loved the story, I wasn't wild about the narrator. He talked in an artificial way that sounded like an excited newscaster. There is a spate of books currently about World War II, but I always think there is room for one more when it tells the story of something that really happened. We need more of these stories of just regular people surviving the war—their often heart-wrenching stories—especially when they did extraordinary things, as this man did. If you want to share a real-life World War II story with your child, this one is a good one.
Was this review helpful?
Oh my loveliness!!!! I have read many books regarding the Holocaust, but never a children’s book. A handful of  middle and young adult books, but never one for small children. This was based on a true story and I was unsure what to expect. This audiobook has, by far, surpassed my wildest expectations!! It was so heartfelt, yet gentle while still remaining very knowledgeable and true. 

Having two small children myself, I believe you have to be careful when you discuss tragedies with them. They understand more  than you think, but you also don’t want to terrify them into thinking humanity is a lost cause. This story gracefully glides along that line and provides a wonderful story that a child of any age will adore! I  love it and I am well into adulthood, I think… 

I recommend this, honestly, to everyone. Having listened to the audiobook rather than look at the picture book, I cannot attest to the pictures, but if they’re even a fraction as good as the cover, I would still recommend this to all. It spans the ages between pregnancy to the grave. If you’ve read all about the Holocaust, this is a good book to read as a spot of hope in the darkness of those tragic times. If you’ve never read anything about the Holocaust, this is a good place to start. What are you waiting for? Go read this book! It’ll be good for your soul!!!

Thank you so so very much to NetGalley, Lerner Audiobooks, and the publisher for providing with a copy of this magical audiobook for my honest and unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
What an adorable book!  Francesco loves ice cream so much!  He spends his life thinking about ice cream. Later he opens a shop and using it for good things. Hes a good person and I loved hearing his story. The kids and I listened to the audio and the narrator was great. I plan to pick up a copy later to see the pictures. 

I loved that this was a sweet story about WWII. Great introduction for young children. 

Thanks to netgalley, Tamar Meir and Lerner audio for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This children’s story about real-life figure Francesco Tirelli is a beautiful, engaging homage to a person who risked so much in order to protect his neighbors during the Holocaust. It starts as a sweet story about a little boy who loves ice cream and travels to the gelateria everyday. He vividly recalls the aromas and sights of this treat, and he vows never to have a life without gelato. 

Francesco moves out of Italy to Hungary, where he opened up an ice-cream shop of his own. Eventually, with the Holocaust wreaking havoc on communities around the world, Tirelli decides he will help by hiding members of his community in his gelateria. He does so successfully and is remembered for his act of courage and compassion. 

This is the perfect story for children for a lot of reasons. It’s been fascinating to see how much my two kids bring up questions about this story, and we first listened to it just a couple of days ago! The story - and the soothing and vibrant narration - clearly does a great job of making the story relatable for young kids (mine are 3 and 5) while also being thought-provoking in an accessible way. We talk a lot about what’s happening in the world with our children, we talk a lot about our histories, so these conversations have a precedent set, but even so, they’re asking a lot of really thoughtful things about Francesco, the Holocaust, and how it relates to our world today. That tells me the book - and Tamar Meir - are doing a remarkable job and, I hope, doing exactly what they set out to do. The narrator does a lovely job keeping the story engaging and conversational so children maintain their interest, and it was a fun experience for us all to listen to a book together (I love audiobooks but we had not yet had a success story with the kids). 

I would highly recommend FRANCESCO TIRELLI’S ICE CREAM SHOP. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this advance copy.
Was this review helpful?
A sweet (literally and figuratively) story of the creativity and bravery of the righteous among the nations. The narrator is well-chosen and enhances the story with his inflections and emotion.
Was this review helpful?
I really loved this book! I loved the lesson that it teaches about helping people, and also the little bit of history that it gives you. I will definitely love to purchase and will also be recommending this to anyone. Thank you netgalley and the publisher for sending me the audiobook for free for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this ARC. This book is a wonderful introduction for kids to begin to learn about WWII. A boy loves his grandpas gelato shop in Italy and when he moves to Hungary as an adult he opens his own shop. There he meets a young Jewish boy and when WWII breaks out he decides to help Jewish people by hiding them in his shop. This is based on a true story and I really liked the way it made such an incomprehensible event understandable to kids. However, I think you miss a lot when you listen on audio and don’t get the pictures.
Was this review helpful?
Francesco and I have a common bond. We both love ice cream and the country of Hungary. 

Francesco grows up loving his uncle’s ice cream. When Francesco moves to Budapest, Hungary he opens up and runs a successful ice cream shop. Then we are introduced to Peter who passes by Francesco’s ice cream shop as much as Francesco used to pass by his Uncle’s store. Then war comes and Peter’s family is scared because they are Jewish. Francesco offers Peter’s family and others a place to hide.

This story also embraces the spirit of Chanukah. 

This was such a lovely story. My only issue was when Francesco said he didn’t need to be afraid because he was Italian. My family lived in Hungary at the time (some Christian and some Jewish.) They will tell you everyone was scared, but they each were afraid of different things. I would have liked to have seen that clarified a bit more. 

The narrator was easy to listen to and did a great job.

At the end, it explains that this was based on a real story, and I love that it is told by their family.

This book will be getting added to my children’s book collection, and I hope to share it with several friends. 

I received an advanced audiobook copy from Lerner Audiobooks through NetGalley. All opinions are 100% my own.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to the author and publisher for providing me with an audiobook ARC of this title via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I am an elementary school librarian and am always on the lookout for new titles to purchase for my library as well as new stories to share with the students during lessons. I loved being able to try this title out as an audiobook. I like to expose my students to different styles of books as well as to different styles of reading. I think there are some who don't enjoy reading or find it difficult, who may still find a love of books through audio readings. This was a simple, but sweet true story about a man with a love of ice cream who opens a shop and then is able to use it to rescue people during wartime. A shorter, picture book story like this is a great way to introduce children to the way some groups of people have been treated throughout history and more importantly about those that stand up for them and do heroic things to help others.
Was this review helpful?
They say to always look for helpers, this helper just so happened to have an ice cream shop. He bravely hid Jews and saved lives. I would like to think I would be brave like Francesco. Thank you #NetGalley for the advanced copy #librarycheckout #historicalpictuebooks #nfpicturebooks #raisingreaders #ww2  #icecreamshop
Was this review helpful?
I listened to the audiobook version of this little book, and found myself wishing I could see the pictures! As a dedicated ice cream lover myself, I could completely understand Francesco, who fell so in love with ice cream in Italy, that when his family moved to Hungary he opened his own shop. I chuckled when the people told him gelato, or ice cream isn't what it's called in Hungary. 

I loved how Francesco mentors young Peter to love ice cream as well, not caring that he is Jewish in a time when being a Jew is dangerous. I also loved his courage in stepping up to help Peter's family, and others, by using his "Closed for the Winter" shop as a haven.

This book would be a gentle introduction for children who need to learn something about the Holocaust. While I really enjoyed the audio version, and the narrator did a great job, I feel like I missed out on something by not reading the print edition. If the inside illustrations are anything like the cover, children will be even more entranced by the story. 

I definitely recommend!
Was this review helpful?
A heartwarming tale about a boy and the man who saves his life by hiding him, his family, and friends in his ice-cream shop. The book is a good  introduction to the holocaust for very young readers. It utilizes  a light touch that still conveys the serious nature of the situation and allows for questions and the beginning of an exploration of this subject matter. Children in the time of Covid-19 will especially be able to identify with the characters. This is not only a book for those interested in Judaica or Holocaust issues, but would also be a wonderful book for those of Italian or Hungarian decent, where there is a dearth of children’s books about the heroes of those ethnic groups.
Was this review helpful?
I started listening to this & my seven-year-old asked me to stop & rewind so that he could listen with me. I’m so glad he did. The book opened the door for great conversations about sacrifice and serving others. He made cross-cultural connections & developed a cursory understanding of how important it is to see our neighbors as true community—even when it seems like the only tie that binds is ice cream!

The narration was strong. My son asked me to re-listen to parts so that he could hear the Hungarian phrases repeated. That added a layer of authenticity and auditory engagement that would not have been possible in a hard copy.
Was this review helpful?
This was a sweet little book about a man who is considered Righteous Among the Gentiles for hiding Jews in his ice cream shop in Hungary during World War II.  I love reading and discovering more about the good people did.  Alas, the book is too young for my target audience.
Was this review helpful?
This is a wonderfully written gentle way to introduce young children to the history of the Holocaust. It is so important for all to learn about it and that it is a true story makes it that much more important. The writing is smart and easy to understand. The narrator draws you right into the story, though I want to buy the book for some youngsters in my life to see the illustrations.  Definitely going to be purchasing more than a few copies of this come holiday time. An important and yet wonderful book for all the young people in your life.
Was this review helpful?
I loved listening to this beautifully written heartfelt book. I was surprised at the end when I realized it was a true story. I usually don’t pick audiobooks because it’s hard for me to picture without looking at the words.   This story came alive and I could picture the Ice cream store and all the flavors. I want to get a hard copy now because I imagine the pictures will be just as beautiful as the words. I would highly recommend this story.
Was this review helpful?
This book is more than just a story about an ice cream shop. It is based on real life events as Francesco Tirelli hides Jews in his ice cream shop during WWII. My kids and I listened to the audiobook version of this book and found the narrator dynamic and engaging in reading the story. We enjoyed the sing-song type rhythms of the ice cream description and the more serious nature during the war and preparing for Hanukkah. We will definitely check out the actual book to look at the illustrations.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?