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The Keeping Quilt

4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  7,179 Ratings  ·  578 Reviews
"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

Paperback, 32 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Aladdin (first published 1988)
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Cameron You have to write that under someones word about that. I did it. i made the statement in the q. box.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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.
Jan 22, 2010 Kathryn rated it really liked it
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
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
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
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.

Tedi Tsopelas
Sep 27, 2015 Tedi Tsopelas rated it it was amazing
In “The Keeping Quilt” by Patricia Polacco, we are introduced to generations of a family who came to the United States from Russia. The story’s plot articulates the use of old clothing and materials people of the family brought together in order to create a quilt. From scraps of clothing to babushka dolls, the quilt was sewed together to be used by the family during different events in their lifetimes such as gatherings, engagements, weddings, births and deaths. The quilt created many traditions ...more
Oct 04, 2012 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  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
Mar 21, 2009 Patricia rated it it was amazing
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 liked it
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
May 07, 2008 Joanie rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 13, 2017 Cassidy rated it it was amazing
The genre of this WOW book is historical fiction. I would say it would best be used in a 3rd or 4th grade classroom. It depicts a quilt that is passed down through the generations of a Jewish family and with it comes memories and love. It is very well-written and engaging. It contains many colorful characters, vocabulary, and themes that are intriguing for the reader.

I think that this book would be beneficial when teaching about different cultures. It is primarily related to Jewish culture, but
Nickolas Florez
"The Keeping Quilt" follows the story of the creation of a family's quilt using old clothes of family members from "Backhome Russia"; the quilt reminds the family of their time birthplace. The quilt is passed from generation to generation between the women in the family. The quilt serves as many things, including a tablecloth and as a wedding huppa.
"The Keeping Quilt" follows the outlines of a historical fiction story correctly, as it addresses the impact of themes on the characters, such as kee
Mar 12, 2017 Madison rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
"The Keeping Quilt" by Patricia Polacco is a historical fiction book. It is a wonderful book about heritage and culture in a family. I believe this book is great for a 4th grade class. This picture book would be great for teaching students about culture, and about being accepting of others. I think I could use this book in my instruction by reading it to my class in a read aloud, and then discussing what tradition and culture mean as a group. I would then have students write their own stories, s ...more
L-Crystal Wlodek
Jan 20, 2010 L-Crystal Wlodek rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jala Collins
Jan 19, 2017 Jala Collins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: educ-378-spring
Text-to- World Connection:

I really enjoyed reading this book! It was very fair in its representation of social-cultural diversity. It opened my mind up more to the Russian culture. The book taught me new vocabulary words to use when describing the Russian culture to others if needed. I love the way book showed many things about the way eat, celebrate, family traditions, and so much more throughout four generations. I also love how the book showed how these things can change throughout the years
Kendall Hagerty
Nov 25, 2016 Kendall Hagerty rated it it was amazing
'The Keeping Quilt' by Patricia Polacco is very different from the other books I reviewed. This story is about a family tradition with quilt making. This Russian family created a quilt with all their keepsakes to pass down from generation to generation. The family members used many different items that had important value to them to create the quilt. This quilt was used during many celebrations in the family as a tradition.

This story is fictionalized family history because we learn about this R
Gillianne Litvack
Nov 25, 2016 Gillianne Litvack marked it as to-read
"The Keeping Quilt" is a historical picture book about a families adjustment to moving from a foreign country to America. Anna came from Russia with her family to live a new and different life away from their past. Feeling out of place and missing home, Anna and her family make a quilt from various pieces of clothing from each member of the family. When the quilt was finished, a new family tradition started. From then on out, every mother would pass down this quilt to their daughters, experienci ...more
Feb 19, 2012 Catalina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sawyer Dombrowski
The Keeping Quilt was about a story of a family moving to the United States. They missed their life back home so they decided to make a quilt of some of their memories so they could always remember a piece of their lives back there. The quilt consisted of all different things from old clothing, etc. This book is considered to be historical fiction because it is something that happened in the past that they are bringing back to life. Their traditions and background perfectly portray something fro ...more
Matthew Ciccarone
Nov 29, 2016 Matthew Ciccarone rated it liked it
This story is about Great Grandma Anna as a child, when she came to America from Russia. When Anna outgrew her clothes her and her mother sewed them into a quilt, along with articles of clothing from all of their family back in Russia. The quilt became a special object to be passed down through generations.

Being set so far in the past, this book is considered historical fiction. Unlike many works of historical fiction it is not centered around a particular historical event. But like most histori
Kayla Reents
Nov 29, 2016 Kayla Reents rated it liked it
The Keeping Quilt is the story of an immigrant family coming to America from Russia. The quilt starts out small, coming from the clothing of the family because they wanted to keep the only thing left they had from home. As the storyline progresses the quilt builds and takes on many different jobs like a blanket, tablecloth, etc. It is enjoyable to watch what the quilt turns into, and to watch it be passed down.
The point of view of the story is from the daughter of the family, and then gets pass
Ashley Lopez
The Keeping Quilt is about the author's great grandmother who came to America as a child, she only brought a dress and a babushka. When she grew out of her dress, her mother decided to bring the babushka and dress together into a quilt, they brought their families things together as well and made a big quilt that was passed down into the family.

Throughout the book the pictures were black and white except for the red babushka and blue dress that soon was made into the quilt. The quilt was the onl
Jocelyn Koff
Nov 29, 2016 Jocelyn Koff rated it really liked it
This is a book about traditions that are kept after moving to the United States. It shows what the children of immigrants have to go through. Her parents never learnt English so she had to translate everything for her parents. When Anna out grew her dress they made a quilt from her babushka, Uncle Vladimir's shirt, Aunt Havalah's nightdress and an apron of Aunt Natasha's. They took all of these things to make a quilt that is used for Sabbath, a chuppah, a blanket to wrap a new born baby. This qu ...more
Amber M
Sep 08, 2013 Amber M rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fab-40-file
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
Jul 14, 2015 Claire rated it liked it
A sweet story! I love Polacco's emphasis on family in her books. However, I've never been a fan of her writing style...and this book didn't change that.

I also felt that the presence of another tradition in the book—the gold coin, flower, salt and bread—weakened the impact of the quilt. In my opinion, the story should have focused on one or the other. If this were a longer book, multiple symbols and themes could have been developed effectively. But in a story this short, simpler is more powerful
Nov 28, 2016 Lucas rated it it was amazing
This is a historical fiction of the story of a great grandmother as a youth in Russia named Anna told through the perspective of her great granddaughter. The story circulated around Anna’s Quilt she made of her old cloths. The illustrations were all black and white except for the quilt because it was the item of interest in the story. The quilt would be handed down generation to generation. The symbolism between the quilt being the only thing colored and it being handed down and used for traditi ...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
Jul 13, 2008 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childhood
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.
Aryiel Vopalensky
Nov 23, 2016 Aryiel Vopalensky rated it really liked it
The Keeping Quilt is a story about a Russian family who immigrated to America. The quilt was made from the clothing of Patricia’s great-grandmother. The quilt was kept through the generations as it passed on from marriages to births. The illustrations are black and white but the quilt has color. The illustrations are drawn to look like pencil and the people shown are realistic.
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RDG291 1 2 Apr 30, 2017 08:20PM  
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