Saffron Ice Cream, written and illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh

As Rashin experiences her first beach day at her new home, she shares her memories of the Caspian Sea. She tells the mini-story of a chaotic beach day when the Islamic beach guards frantically repaired the curtain dividing the male visitors from the female visitors. That memoir morphs into her real-time experience of riding the NY subway and taking in Coney Island. While Rashin is waiting in line for an ice cream, she grows lonely as she misses her best friend, Azadeh, and her favorite saffron ice cream. As tears roll down her face, the girl standing beside her in line comforts her with a smile and flavor suggestion. All ends well, as the two girls practice the beach rule  “…to have fun, fun, fun” !

When I lived in Iran, we used to drive to the Caspian Sea to swim. Very early in the morning, my mom would mix together wheat, turkey, sugar, and cinnamon to make halim for breakfast.

Student asks, “Is that beach in her land or is that the beach in the land she lives right now?”
Another students wonders, “Does that really happen in places? ” and her classmate replies, “Not in our country.”
Students’ conversations include, “They’re probably going to become friends and have fun all day” and ” Something like that happened to me when I was the ‘new’ kid’.

Although Rashin Kheiriyeh has written many books, Saffron Ice Cream is the first one she has written in English and the first book of which she wrote and illustrated. The mood of the book is primarily upbeat and lively, which makes this an inviting book to share with children who may be experiencing homesickness. Rashin’s work makes the reader believe “the best is yet to come”, which offers a hopeful perspective to a difficult experience.

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