Today’s Perfect Picture Book is perfect in so many ways as we head into summer and as Muslims across the world celebrate Eid Al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan (the holy month of fasting).
Title: Saffron Ice Cream
Written & Illustrated By: Rashin Kheiriyeh
Publisher/date: Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc./June 2018
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: immigrant; moving home; summer; beach; ice cream; customs; friendship
My name is Rashin. And this is my first trip to the beach!
A young girl remembers beach visits with her friend in Iran, as she and her family visit a beach in America for the first time, and she learns that while some things may differ in her new home, some pleasures remain the same.
Links to Resources:
- Make and eat saffron ice cream;
- Saffron is part of the saffron crocus (crocus sativus) and is the world’s most expensive spice. Discover other edible flowers;
- Discover Iran, the birthplace of Rashin;
- Visit a beach! Make a list of how it’s the same as or different from the beaches shown in Saffron Ice Cream.
Why I Like this Book:
The subject of Saffron Ice Cream, a family beach outing, can’t help but make anyone who reads it smile, especially as Rashin’s colorful illustrations are so joyful. Whether it’s a first beach day or the last of the summer, what child doesn’t love going to the beach and eating ice cream?
But Saffron Ice Cream is not just a romp at the beach. It’s also a window into life in Iran, an insightful exploration of cultural differences, and a story of how one act of kindness to welcome a stranger can lead to friendship.
Through her vibrant oil and acrylic illustrations, Rashin brings this story to life, making it one that families will want to read and reread.
A Note about Craft:
Rashin focuses on a very kid-friendly topic, a favorite ice cream flavor, and uses that as a lens to explore universal themes: missing one’s homeland, cultural differences, welcoming newcomers, and friendship. I think food is a great lens to explore these themes, especially as saffron ice cream seems exotic to at least this reader.
Visit Rashin’s website to view more of her art. Kathy Temean interviewed Rashin on Illustrator Saturday in February 2017. Saffron Ice Cream is Rashin’s debut as author/illustrator in English. See my reviews of two of the many picture books that Rashin illustrated, Ramadan and Two Parrots.
This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!