The Keeping Quilt

The Keeping Quilt

by Patricia Polacco


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"We will make a quilt to help us always remember home," Anna's mother said. "It will be like heaving the family in backhome Russia dance around us at night.
And so it was. From a basket of old clothes, Anna's babushka, Uncle Vladimir's shirt, Aunt Havalah's nightdress and an apron of Aunt Natasha's become The Keeping Quilt, passed along from mother to daughter for almost a century. For four generations the quilt is a Sabbath tablecloth, a wedding canopy, and a blanket that welcomes babies warmly into the world.
In strongly moving pictures that are as heartwarming as they are real, patricia Polacco tells the story of her own family, and the quilt that remains a symbol of their enduring love and faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780756917203
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/28/2001
Sales rank: 476,023
Product dimensions: 10.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Patricia Polacco belongs to a family of storytellers, poets, farmers, teachers, and artists. They came from many parts of the world, but mainly Russia. She grew up to be an illustrator, a designer, and creator of many beloved children’s books, including The Keeping Quilt, The Blessing Cup, Fiona’s Lace, The Trees of the Dancing Goats, Babushka’s Doll, My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, and Sticks and Stones. She lives in Union City, Michigan. Visit her at and follow her on Facebook.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

School Library Journal Richly detailed charcoal drawings fill the pages of this beautifully conceived book...children will be fascinated by the various uses to which the quilt is put...

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter One of the most attractive and well-conceived picture books seen in recent years...It has a surprisingly emotional impact.

Booklist Useful for the sense of history it presents to young viewers (especially in discussions of geneaology), this tale also carries a warm message on the meaning of family...

Customer Reviews

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The Keeping Quilt 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
renmew More than 1 year ago
My daughter picked this off the library shelf and I cried the first time I read it to my children. The illustrations are simple, yet deep and emotional. I will be buying this for our home library, and also a second copy for my classroom.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is a great story that tells how they kept their family close, even when they are in a whole other country. The illustrations showed just how the family felt. It also tells that even though Great-Gramma Anna died, she is still watching over them through the stitches of the quilt. All the first born girls after Anna got the quilt that she made. They would all preserve memories in the quilt to pass on to other family members. The quilt has been through a lot since Anna. It has become table cloths, tents, and capes. I highly recommend this book because it is a loving story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Keeping Quilt delights in a fasion that never grows old. It tenderly guides you through the story of a family , although mislplaced, continues to keep it's memories locked in the patches of a quilt. Each patch holds a story re-told through the eyes its maker. Every word embraces family spirit and strength as the illustrations evoke love, warmth, laughter, as well as hardship. A wonderful stroll for the entire family.
Aridy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The narrator tells of the journey of the quilt that her Great-Gramma Ann,aRussian Jewish immigrant, created from her babushka. The story follows the quilt through generations, for weddings, on death beds, and as a baby quilt.
ssajj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿The Keeping Quilt¿ is a memoir written by Patricia Pollacco. It is about a family quilt that tells the history of the author¿s family. The quilt¿s original pieces are all the way from Russia where Patricia Pollacc family originally immigrated from. The quilt is passed down from generation to generation; it's used for special ceremonies and occasions in each of the generations. The family preserved their stories with the quilt. This is a wonderful story about family traditions, full of information regarding the author¿s culture and Jewish background. The illustration is very unique, as the quilt's fabric (even prior to being a part of the quilt ) is vivid and colorful all of the other images are drawn in black and white.
eevers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Patricia Polacco's personal stories. This story tells the history of P.P.'s family coming from Russia to America and settling down. Each family story is represented by a piece of fabric on the quilt that P.P. passed down to her own daughter.
LeHack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a quilter, I loved this book. The quilt has significant remembrances sewn into it and is handed down through generations. As the family gives the quilt various uses, they are able to remember ancestors and important events in their lives.
kloupe1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really really loved this book. I loved how Patricia took us through her family and through the events in her family, almost as we are the quilt being transferred from important event to life changing event. This book combines family, tradition, and change to create a great book to read to children to teach them the meaning of holding on and the cultures that are never forgotten.
brittneydufrene on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Based on a true story about Patricia's great grandma cane to America as a child. Her grandma was only able to bring with her from Russian was her fress and her babushka. Soon Anna outgrew the dress so her mother decided to turn it and her babushka into a quilt. The quilt lived through four generations of the Jewish family. And was a symbol of their love and faith.
marciaskidslit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Keeping Quilt teaches of family traditions and a very special family heirloom that is handed down through the generations. As each generation becomes more Americanized, the traditions remain the same; yet subtle changes are added by each bride. The story is also about keeping alive the memories of our ancestors. On each page or double-page spread, the quilt and person being discussed on that page are in color. Everything and everyone else are in black and white. This technique makes the quilt and the person so easy to find on the page. The plot tells a story that will be enjoyed by children from diverse cultures.
ermilligan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about family heritage and keeping traditions. The characters used clothing to sew a quilt that they used for several generations for a variety of purposes. It could be use to talk about traditions of other cultures.
jemilie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
SUMMARY:This multiculturism book is about a family who migrated to the United States from Russia but kept their culture alive by passing on a hand-made quilt. The quilt was made from things no longer in use such as an dress which was too small. This quilt shown in bright colors against the black and white pictures indicated that each generation had come to pass but the culture/tradition still exists. In this story , there is are differences in the way the Russians did things compared to the United States.For example, the Russians men engaged a girl by giving her a gold coin, a dried flower, and piece of rock salt all tied in a linen handkerchief, and if she accepted she was engaged. On the other hand in the US and some other parts of the world a diamond ring on the left hand is an engagement ring. The story weht on further to explain that men and women in the beginning danced seperately. But as the years went on and new generations emerged, the culture of the western world began replacing old values and tradition of the Russian family to that of those of the Americans. The quilt which moved from generation to generation was used in every wedding as a symbol of, "gone but not forgetten."PERSONAL:I truly enjoyed reading this story. It is a close reminder of the stories told by late grandmother about how things were done long ago. It also reminded me of how quickly culture can disappear given time.This book is age appropaite for Grade ones to Grade four. Girls would most likely enjoy this book because of the weddings and engagements because most girls have a fantasy wedding in mind for some day.CLASSROOM.:For a Social Studies lesson based on the cultures around the world, the teacher will make use of the internet and smartboard to show weddings around the world ( at least five). The can have a dissicusion about weddings they have been to wnd how they can be compered to those in the story.
kshielee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Keeping Quilt follows the story of a quilt as it is made and passed down through many generations. The author happens to be the one who is now in possession of the quilt, making this book a tracing of family and an autobiography. The illustrations in this story really help to show how times change throughout the lives of the people in the story, but the constant of the colorful quilt is always there. The older parts of the story could be hard for some people to imagine, but the pictures show wonderful detail about what times were like and how times change. Many emotions are also conveyed by looking at the various illustrations and what is occuring in the pictures. They are somewhat repetitive, but the reader would have a good idea of what the story is about just by looking at the pictures.
alyssabuzbee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a lovely picture book about a quilt that is passed down through a family, how each person got it and the things they ad to it.
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