Wednesday, March 17, 2021

READ-4-LUCK: Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh

This book review comes to us from children’s author, Lois Wickstrom. Thanks for introducing us to a cross-cultural beach experience!

READ-4-LUCK includes a book recommendation, book review, teaching tip, and writing lesson for children, parents, teachers, and writers.

  1 Clover: Not bad. Might read twice.

  2 Clovers: Fun read first few times. Would get from library again.

  3 Clovers: Very enjoyable. Wouldn't mind owning a copy.

  4 Clovers: Multiple readings please! May just have to buy it.

Summary of Saffron’s Ice Cream

Author/Illustrator: Rashin Kheiriyeh

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Year: 2018

Age: 4-8

Topic: beach, ice cream, music, friends

Theme: social situations, cross-cultural experiences Summary:
“Rashin is excited about her first visit to the beach in her family's new home. On the way there, she remembers what beach trips were like in Iran, the beautiful Caspian Sea, the Persian music, and most of all, the saffron ice cream she shared with her best friend, Azadeh. But there are wonderful things in this new place as well -- a subway train, exciting music... and maybe even a new friend!”

Rating for Children

3 CLOVERS: Very enjoyable. Wouldn't mind owning a copy.

Saffron Ice Cream is the story of a girl named Rashin, just like the author of this book. Rashin has just moved to Brooklyn from Iran. This book is about the differences a child would notice between her new life and her old one.

Rating for Parents

2 CLOVERS: Fun read the first few times. Would get from the library again.

She used to have to ride in the family car for five hours to get to the beach. Now, she can just hop on the subway with her family, and arrive in less than an hour. She used to have to go to the women’s side of the curtain at the beach, while her father and brother stayed on the men’s side. Now, there is no curtain. She used to have lots of rules about how to behave at the beach. Now the rules are simple. 1) Stay in sight of your parents and the lifeguard. 2) Have fun. 

The most important difference: She used to eat saffron flavored ice cream at the beach. Now she doesn’t recognize any of the flavors. An American girl recommends Chocolate Crunch.  Rashin discovers she likes the new flavor. The new ice cream is symbolic of her new life – different – but she likes it.

Rating for Teachers

3 CLOVERS: Very enjoyable. Wouldn't mind owning a copy.

The illustrations are colorful folk-art. This is a gentle introduction to the immigrant experience. The book is totally appropriate for libraries and classrooms. The events will lead to useful discussions if presented at story time.

Rating for Writers

2 CLOVERS: Fun read the first few times. Would get from the library again.

Some people complain that this book is political. Immigration is a political act. Much of what we take for granted as American culture is political, like men and women swimming together at the beach. 

As a child, I moved from Iowa to California. I experienced culture shock. Different fashions. Different foods at the grocery stores. Rashin’s culture shock is more jarring than I experienced. Children will benefit from learning that the world is not the same everywhere.

Thank you, Lois, for this book review!

Lois Wickstrom is a retired science teacher. She has self-published over three dozen children’s picture books. You can find them on Amazon or on her website, Look Under Rocks.

Got a book you'd like to recommend? Or one you want me to review? Share in the comments!

You might also like: Preschool, Passion, and Prickly Porcupines, an Interview with Picture Book Author, Laura Renauld

How to Analyze a Picture Book with a Story Board

Keep on keepin' on...


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