The Keeping Quilt

The Keeping Quilt

3.6 6
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 toSee more details below

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Overview

"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.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
(PreS - Gr. 2) Polacco's first-person voice moves her narrative forward gracefully from the time when her Great-Gramma Anna came to America during the last century to the present. Richly detailed charcoal drawings fill the pages of this beautifully conceived book. Particularly striking are the faces of the Russian Jewish immigrant families who people the pages. The only color used is in the babushka and dress of Great-Gramma Anna, which become part of a brightly hued quilt. Following that quilt through four generations is the basis of this account. Customs and fashions change, but family is constant, visually linked by the "keeping quilt.'' Children will be fascinated by the various uses to which the quilt is put, although some of those uses make one wonder how its "like-new'' shape was maintained. That stretch of the imagination is gentle, however, and does not mar the story. Readers who notice that the author and the narrator share the same name may realize that this lovely story is true; that should make it even more appealing. -- Lee Bock, Brown County Public Libraries, Green Bay, Wis.
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...

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
In the twenty-five years since The Keeping Quilt first appeared, Patricia Polacco has created an enormous body of work, much of it referencing her Jewish immigrant family. The beauty of her books, in addition to the simple yet expressively wrought illustrations, is that even though the text is longer than most picture books, the stories flow with the rhythm of true storytelling. Here we have the same familiar pencil sketches of the Jewish peasant family. The focus is on the women, their interaction, and family relationships. Men appear sparingly in the story. The color of the book is concentrated on the quilt, bright in relief against the black and white figures done in charcoal. The quilt, itself, is not patchwork, but more folkloric with appliqued figures marking family events. The endpapers of the book replicate the quilt figures. Through five generation of family life, the quilt holds center stage as a blanket, a picnic cover, a Sabbath tablecloth, a baby bunting, and, ultimately, a wedding canopy. Author Polacco uses this anniversary edition to update readers on her children and the fate of the heirloom quilt. Her son gets married under the quilt canopy although it is not supported by chuppah poles. Her lesbian daughter incorporates the quilt into a commitment ceremony. Polacco's family epitomizes American Jewish assimilation as the family moves from Orthodox observance to more progressive and egalitarian forms of Judaism. The quilt, now fragile, hangs in a museum and a replica has been made to carry the family tradition forward. The wonderful, timeless story of an immigrant family will speak to many families, even if their culture and tradition are not Jewish and their family treasures are not quilted. Revisiting Palacco's seminal work is like being brought up to date by an old family friend. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689844478
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date:
05/28/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
52,681
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.20(d)
Lexile:
920L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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...

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