In Saffron Ice Cream, an autobiographical picture book by Rashin, our students meet a little girl who enjoys swimming and ice cream. These are experiences that many children can relate to right away. We learn as we read that Rashin immigrated to the United States with her family from Iran where she also enjoyed swimming and ice cream. As Rashin describes her adventures at the beach in Iran and the beach in the United States we are invited to experience the similarities and differences in each country. In Iran, boys and girls swim on different sides of a curtain, but they are still just as curious and mischievous as the children in New York.
This is a fantastic book to use for the Integration of Knowledge and Ideas standards of the Core. The illustrations in this book provide details, like the pear tree in Iran and the subway in New York, that invite readers to return to the book many times to find new things. Students can also compare and contrast Rashin’s experiences in both countries. This book can also lead to discussions about “the lived experiences of others” from the diversity standards created by Teaching Tolerance. Students can discuss their own swimming experiences in relation to Rashin’s.