The Keeping Quilt
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The Keeping Quilt

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  4,730 ratings  ·  217 reviews
A homemade quilt ties together the lives of four generations of an immigrant Jewish family, remaining a symbol of their enduring love and faith.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published 1996 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1988)
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Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. KimmelGolem by David WisniewskiThe Keeping Quilt by Patricia PolaccoSomething From Nothing by Phoebe GilmanMrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco
Jewish Children's Books
3rd out of 45 books — 30 voters
Upper Fourth at Malory Towers by Enid BlytonFirst Term at Malory Towers by Enid BlytonIn the Fifth at Malory Towers by Enid BlytonFledgling by Mark A. CooperSecond Form at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton
Shunned by adults, Smashing good YA books
139th out of 179 books — 44 voters

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Lisa Vegan
I love this picture book biography about a family and their quilt.

The illustrations are wonderful. The quilt and its dress and babushka that went into making it, are shown in glorious color; the rest of the illustrations are done in charcoal. It makes for a lovely effect.

The story is very moving. It starts when the author’s great grandmother came to America and how as she outgrew her dress, that dress and her headscarf were used, along with other family members’ items, were used to make a quilt....more
This is a lovely true story about family tradition as the quilt, made from an immigrant daughter's outgrown babushka, is passed down through the generations, making appearances at many important events. Polacco shows how religion and culture have evolved some through the generations of Jewish marriages down to Polacco's own. I appreciate the idea of the illustrations with the quilt being the only thing in color, though I'm not sure the overall illustrations really wowed me. However, I think this...more
Speechless… I am just totally blown away by this recent book I have read by Patricia Polacco! “The Keeping Quilt” is a beautiful picture book by Patricia Polacco that details the life story of Patricia Polacco’s family that has emigrated from Russia and how her Great Gramma Anna passed down her precious quilt to her children for four generations and has remained to be a wonderful treasure to her entire family. “The Keeping Quilt” is truly one of the best books written by Patricia Polacco ever wr...more
I first read this book years ago in a multicultural education course I took as an undergrad. I was brought to tears in a hot summer classroom full of bored college kids but I was in awe then and reading it now, I was brought to tears again. Polacco is an incredible storyteller and it is even more incredible that her stories are true and from the heart. “The Keeping Quilt” was able to bring me to tears as a mother because there is something about sharing a quilt or any object across several gener...more
Patricia Polacco read this book to me at the IRC luncheon Saturday, March 21, 2009. What a wonderful read. The red babushka highlighted on the cover and the red fabric throughout the book chronicles the life of the quilt and the life of the family. This masterfully crafted, simple yet powerful, book reminds us of the importance of traditions in families. It doesn't matter what the tradition, tradition gives structure to a child's life, even when that child grows up. The caring, nurturing, loving...more
Jun 17, 2008 kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: JPIC
Recommended to kelly by: URI530
A story about the immigration of Ms. Polacco's relatives from Russia and how a quilt made from worn out clothes brings the memory of far off relatives closer and binds them all together - Interesting use eof color for the quilt while other illustrations are in browns
A homemade quilt represents a Jewish family who emigrated from Russia to New York more than 100 years ago. The quilt is used to mark special life events such as births, weddings, birthdays, and the passing of elders. The quilt owner is the historian of all the family stories and the quilt serves as visual remembrance of those who came before. The story’s theme teaches of family traditions and the quilt, a very special family heirloom that is handed down through the generations. As each generatio...more
Kathy Davie
A children's storybook that revolved around a quilt of memories.

My Take
It was sweet enough—and I'm already prejudiced towards it as I am a quilter. And I want to make one of these. I absolutely adored the colorful animals and flowers that were appliqued on this quilt! I also loved the many, many ways in which this quilt was used and loved [although I did hold my breath when it was used as a tablecloth...eek].

It was more a story of family, keeping alive the memory of those who have passed on.

L-Crystal Wlodek
This picture book, recommended for readers 8-10 years of age and has received the The Sydney Taylor Book Award. This book is about a family quilt, which is made from a basket of old clothes of several family members from many generations. The quilt represents the importance of family and heritage, as tells the story of the importance of the quilt, and all the events for which is has been a part (Sabbaths, weddings, births) as it has been passed along from mother to daughter through four generati...more
Oct 05, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We really enjoy Patricia Polacco's stories and so we look for them often at our local library. Lucky for us, she is a very prolific writer, so we still have a lot of her books to discover.

This is a wonderful tale about a piece of history that has remained within a family and helped to keep the memory of their ancestors alive. The story is a simple one, but it is very heartwarming. The illustrations are an unusual mix of black and white with spots of color, usually featuring the quilt or material...more
Polacco, Patricia, The Keeping Quilt. New York: Aladdin Picture Books, 2001. Print.
Anna, a young Russian Jewish girl, comes to the USA with her family. When she outgrows her dress that she used to wear on their farm in Russia, her mother comes up with the idea of using the material from the dress and shawl to make a quilt. Neighbors are invited to participate in the making of the quilt and they all have fun while working together. The quilt is then passed on from generation to generation on the...more
Erica - Bonner Springs Library
A wonderful picture book about family and connecting generations. The story follows a family through four generations as they come to America from Russia and make the quilt as a way to remember family in the old country. The quilt is part of important events in their lives - engagements, marriages, births and death. I love that Patricia and her children still have a close connection with a quilt that was made by Patricia's great-grandmother.

I saw Patricia Polacco speak at the DNA Literature Fes...more
Amber M
Genre: Historical Fiction
Awards: 1988 Sydney Taylor Book Award
Grade Level: 3-5

The Keeping Quilt can be used in the classroom to teach the students about generations of family and traditions that can be passed down from generation to generation. Anna’s ancestors were dirt farmers in Russia. The students could do research and find out what that actually was. The story mentions New York, Russia, and Michigan. I could use this to have the students learn about each state and Russia. For a follow up a...more
Cheryl in CC NV
Argh. I keep reading Polacco, trying to like her works the way my friends do, and I just can't. Don't take my rating seriously - it's just me, I'm sure.

My quibble with this one is that I have no idea how this quilt survived so long. I've inherited, and made, quilts and superhero capes, and neither even lasts one full generation. And this quilt serves both of these purposes, also receiving blanket, picnic cloth, etc.? Someone please tell me how.
The Keeping Quilt was my first Patricia Polacco book and most certainly not my last ... it has remained a favorite, and I have bought several copies to give as gifts over the years. The 10th anniversary edition was a special one for my own bookshelves. Polacco's illustrations are always delightful and her stories focus on family. They are a good reminder that we all need to keep our family stories alive for the generations to come.
I enjoy reading Patricia Polacco books because she is an excellent writer. I wanted to read Rechenka's Eggs to the Tiger Scouts before we dyed eggs. Unfortunately, I left my copy in my classroom. On the way home, I stopped at the Millville Public Library. When I reached for that book, I saw this one sitting next to it. I had heard people comment on this throughout the years but somehow had never read it. I picked this up too.

Polacco once again tells a touching story about her family and its Russ...more
Inna Nako
-this story tells of a Russian Jewish family moving to America and trying to preserve their culture through a quilt
-great to show geneology, for the quilt is handed down from great grandparents and down
-a wonderful idea would be for each ELL child to bring in a cultural artifact, something that represents their culture and share it with the class
-this way, students and teachers get to know each other more
The Styling Librarian
The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco – This is THE book that I fell for. The FIRST book I read by Patricia Polacco. My mom introduced the book to me. While I was away at college, she had the opportunity to meet and see Patricia Polacco at an author lecture. My mom’s enthusiasm got me to pick up picture books while I was knee deep in research and studies on Special Education. I count this book as one of the first things that kick started me into getting lost in children’s literature, specificall...more
April Poulter
Both the story and the illustrations in this book were wonderful! It is a beautiful story about history, customs, traditions, and family. I really like how Patricia Polacco communicated the importance of her history. As Americans I think we tend to disregard our history so I like things that remind us to look back and remember where we came from and the sacrifices that others made so that we could be where we are today.
The artwork in this book is unique in that it is all brown and white except f...more
Apr 08, 2014 Gina marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The Keeping Quilt tells about a Russian family tradition- a quilt that symbolizes love and faith. Patricia Polacco is given priceless possessions that has been passed down for generations. It tells that as long as she keeps it with her, she will always be home. Students may have a personal connection, because no matter the family, everyone has a piece of tradition that is passed from generations to generations. For a literacy lesson, I would have each student in the classroom to bring a piece of...more
I read this at the same time as Polacco's The Blessing Cup, in part because I need to choose between the two for a class activity, and I'm finding the choice difficult as both of the books are very well written and illustrated. The illustrations here are predominantly in black and white with certain details in very vibrant primary colors, including the quilt from the title. The plot revolves around the creation of the quilt and how it is used and passed down through generations of the family's w...more
Love it, love it, love it! This is Patricia Polacco's story of her family's "keeping quilt" passed from generation to generation. An absolute treasure.
Alexandria Stephens
Patricia Polacco's book The Keeping Quilt is a story about her families immigration from Russia. The main character wore certain garments to remember her Russian heritage by but after she outgrows the clothing, neighborhood women make the garments into a quilt. The quilt is passed down from generation to generation for everyone to remember their Russian heritage. This book can be used to teach making predictions. As a class, students can make predictions as to what will happen due to her outgrow...more
Emily  Nuttall
The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco is beautiful story about her family and how their love for each other has been shared from generation to generation through the celebration of her family's culture and traditions in connection with the Keeping Quilt. I read the 25th anniversary edition of this book which not only continues the family traditions as it relates to the quilt, but it also reflects how traditions have changed over time. This is a great read that can be enjoyed by children of any a...more
Kristin Forman
The Keeping Quilt is a wonderful story about culture and traditions. The author Patricia Polacco shares with the readers about her Jewish culture. I love the illustrations in this book because it really puts emphasis on the quilt. All of the illustrations are in black and white except for the quilt. This could be a great story to read to your students if you want to focus on theme. It is about family tradition and love. You could also use this story to talk about point of view. The author is tel...more
I have two daughters, barely three and almost seven, and this book is a consistent hit with both of them. The seven year old reads well on her own but still likes to be read to. This is on the upper end of the younger one's tolerance for complexity, but it has enough mild repetition to keep her focused. Both of my kids love stories about families, particularly where the families are different from ours. This is a lovely story about multiple generations of a family and how traditions adapt and en...more
Each student in any given class brings with them some sort of family tradition. It may be very similar to the traditions of their classmates or one special to only them. Use this book to explore cultural diversity and family traditions.In the Keeping Quilt Pollaco describes how a Jewish family maintains tradition in passing a family quilt. The quilt passes from mother to daughter and has been in Anna's Family for nearly a century. With remits of cloth from family member's most memorable articles...more
Summary: Patricia Polacco traces part of her family's history by following this special quilt through generations of weddings and babies.

Response: I hadn't planned to read this book, but last week my daughter was tracing her family's time line of immigration to America; while she and I were working on it together, she suddenly realized that the research she was doing on her family and the family tree she was creating reminded her of "The Keeping Quilt" except, as she told me, that that was told...more
Polacco, Patricia. The Keeping Quilt. New York: Children’s Publishing Division, 1988. Print.
The Keeping Quilt, by Patricia Polacco, tells the story of a special quilt that is passed down from one generation to the next. A group of ladies worked together to make the quilt (7). The special quilt was used as a tablecloth during meals (9). When Anna married Great-Grandpa Sasha the quilt was used as their wedding huppa (11). When Grandma Carle was born, Anna wrapped the child with the special quilt...more
Jared Burton
Polacco, Patricia. The Keeping Quilt. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 2001.
The Keeping Quilt, is a story about a quilt that is made by a family and then passed down through generation to generation. The quilt was originally created when it first came to America by Great-Gramma Anna (2). The quilts purpose was to help the family always remember home, Russia (5). What's important to remember about the quilt is that it serves for new purposes, as well as old, never changing purposes. Each time the q...more
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