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The Keeping Quilt Paperback – May 1, 2001

78 customer reviews

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Waiting is a big part of childhood. Waiting in line, waiting to grow up, waiting for something special to happen. However, now a child sets the stage and pulls the strings in a timeless, heartfelt picture book about imaginative play, friendship, and surprises. Paperback | More for ages 3-5
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This 10th-anniversary edition of Polacco's family story about a quilt made from an immigrant Jewish family's clothing from their Russian homeland "adds a few squares to the original story with expanded text and art," noted PW. Ages 4-8. (May)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3?The changes in this revised edition of a book originally published in 1988 are subtle. The story recounts Polacco's great-grandmother's arrival in this country from Eastern Europe. Her dress and babushka become part of a quilt that has been handed down from generation to generation in the author's family. This book is special for the values it conveys, for the family traditions and the changes to them that it describes, and for the intergenerational love it portrays. Although alterations to the text are slight, eight new pages have been added, as the author traces the presence of the quilt at the birth of her own children and the death of her mother, and ends with the promise of continuing the cycle. The endpapers are enhanced with more decoration and the pages are white as opposed to cream colored, resulting in a brighter, cheerier mood. As before, only the quilt is shown in color; black-and-white pencil drawings in Polacco's distinctive, folksy style convey the drama as it unfolds. The portraits are wonderfully expressive, depicting both joy and sadness as the occasion demands. Do these revisions warrant purchase of this new edition if a collection already holds sufficient copies of the old one? Probably not. However, those libraries that do not already own multiple copies of this wonderful book will want to take this opportunity to stock their shelves.?Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0153052120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0153052125
  • ASIN: 0689844476
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born Patricia Ann Barber in Lansing, Michigan, to parents of Russian and Ukrainian descent on one side and Irish on the other, Patricia Polacco grew up in both California and Michigan. Her school year was spent in Oakland, California, and summers in her beloved Michigan. She describes her family members as marvelous storytellers. "My fondest memories are of sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and the past. We are tenacious traditionalists and sentimentalists.... With each retelling our stories gain a little more Umph!"Studying in the United States and Australia, Patricia Polacco has earned an M.F.A. and a Ph. D. in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting, and iconographic history. She is a museum consultant on the restoration of icons. As a participant in many citizen exchange programs for writers and illustrators, Patricia Polacco has traveled extensively in Russia as well as other former Soviet republics. She continues to support programs that encourage Russo-American friendships and understanding. She is also deeply involved in inner-city projects here in the U.S. that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage art and literacy programs.The mother of a grown son and a daughter, Patricia Polacco currently resides in Michigan, where she has a glorious old farm that was built during the time of Lincoln.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Catherine S. Vodrey on May 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Patricia Polacco's classic tale "The Keeping Quilt" manages to blend, in not all that many pages, family, love, tradition, the cycle of life, and the ebb and flow of events in one family which are anchored by just one thing: the family quilt.
Made by the immigrant great-grandmother and her quilting bee friends, the quilt is composed of scraps of fabric from little girls' dresses, the aprons of aunts, and so on. All come together to form a beautiful quilt which features dancing animals, swaying trees, and all manner of beautiful ornamentation.
The quilt serves variously as a quilt, a tent, a huppah at a wedding, a tablecloth, and so on. Polacco uses the same illustrative technique she employs in her wonderful "Betty Doll"--the quilt itself appears in multicolored beauty, while the rest of each picture is done in subtle and evocative pencil. Because of this simple visual choice, the quilt and its many permutations leap to the fore and become, essentially, the main character in a story filled with realistic and full-bodied people.
I have always liked the fact that Polacco doesn't draw pretty-pretty people. The little kids always look like regular little kids, with all the inherent awkwardness and realistic expressions (whether they be joyful or pouting or wondering), while the adults sometimes have worried or thoughtful expressions, bad posture, or wrinkles. Real life is going on here, and Polacco manages to capture it vividly.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. J. Falcone on September 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Who else but Patricia Polacco can create a story about a few pieces of fabric that will have you singing, dancing, crying? If I tell you that I become overwhelmed at the very thought of this little scrap of a book, will you think I am overreacting? Actually teary-eyed.
The rich patchwork of a family history, on top of, covered by and wrapped within a quilt made of Great Great Grandma Anna's blue dress and red babushka, Uncle Vladmir's shirt, Aunt Havalah's nightdress, and Aunt Natasha's apron. Through all of the events that mark a lifetime, birth, marriage, family meals, coming of age, deaths, we see the quilt binding generation to generation.
In simple black and white (and shades of gray!) illustrations which we have the feeling were actually photograhs, the quilt stands out again and again as the thing that gives each scene color. It is a symbol of all the things that a family hands down to each member.
Wonderfully uplifting, evoking strong emotions, and a pure joy to share.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on January 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
When Great Gramma Anna left Russia to come to New York City, she had only the clothes on her back. Soon she had outgrown her dress and babushka and her mother used these and other family member's old clothes to make a colorful quilt. "It will be like having the family in backhome Russia dance around us at night." As author Patricia Polacco explains, this quilt tells the story of her family from generation to generation, and has been present at all their life events, births, deaths, weddings and other special family celebrations. It is the glue that binds her family together. Her gentle, poignant, simple text is only outdone by the beautiful brown and white illustrations, reminiscent of old photographs with only the quilt highlighted in vibrant color as it wraps babies, covers tables, is used as a wedding huppa... The Keeping Quilt is a very special history book about love and faith and our connections to each other, told with insight and wisdom.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By RV Campbell on November 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was introduced to this author on videotape where she read this book to a large audience of PTA members. She brought the Keeping Quilt to show--it looked "like new" to me... The book paints a wonderful picture of grandmas, home, and knowing your roots. What is truly amazing is that the author did not begin to learn to read until she was 14 years old because of a severe learning disability that she coped with secretly all through elementary school. In that light, the book is a triumph for all those smart kids out there struggling with disabilities, and a challenge to those who would give up on the kids who are failing.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lynne P. Caldwell on March 22, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Patricia Polacco is one of the greatest storytellers of our generation. She has put down snippets of not only her life, but of her ancestors, into delightful stories that transcends all age groups. THE KEEPING QUILT is about Polacco's Great-Grandmother Anna, who immigrated to New York City. The only two things that she still owned from her native Russia were her dress and a babushka. Anna's mother eventually takes parts of her dress and babushka along with old clothes belonging to other relatives and makes a quilt that will remind everyone of their homeland. This quilt serves as a source of comfort and memories for future generations. This is another book that I bought my daughter for her birthday. She will read this book to her second graders perhaps inspiring a new generation to write down the memories of the past.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I would grade it 60,00000 but you only go up to 10.
Bummer for such an impressive book about a family
tradition.Starting with the Great Gramma being
passed down for years and years to come,this
extrordinary quilt tells a certain story of passion and
the gift love.Storys, as I see it ,tell the future and
past.Its importint to make your storys funny,sad,
passionitte and lovely,without that you have nothing
but a story.It could be just a comedy or just a
romance,but why not give it character?That is just what
Patricia gave it.A unique sense of style is used in this
classical story of a family that makes a special quilt
that tells the story of old time Russia that is passed
down,oh so many times.Patricia will pass it
down too----and it will last forever.As nine years old,I
haven't made a carreer of story writing yet,but
it is clear I will,someday,and if I do I will admire the
style of lovely writing when I write my own storys.
-Anna Catherine Hyclak
#1 Polacco Fa
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