Saturday, February 2, 2013

[BOOK REVIEW] The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco

Title:  The Keeping Quilt

Author:  Patricia Polacco

Genre: Family / Immigration  / Drama

Year Published: 1988

Year Read:  2011

Publisher:  Aladdin

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Nothing Objectionable)

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 written!

Patricia Polacco’s Great-Gramma Anna emigrated from Russia many years ago and when she went to school, she took her blue dress and her babushka (even though I am sure that “babushka” means “grandmother” in Russian).  Soon afterwards, when Anna’s dress and babushka got old and Anna’s mother made her a new dress, her mother decided to make a quilt out of Anna’s old dress and babushka so that way it would remind them of their home in Russia.  When Anna grew up, she got married to Patricia Polacco’s Great-Grandpa Sasha and Anna’s quilt was used as a huppa for her and Sasha’s wedding.  Later on, Patricia Polacco’s grandmother Carle was born and Anna wrapped her quilt around her new born daughter.

What can I say?  This is clearly Patricia Polacco’s most memorable and greatest work ever written!  Patricia Polacco has done an excellent job at both writing and illustrating this book as it details the story about how important Great-Gramma Anna’s quilt was to the family.  What was so inspiring about this book is that it details Patricia Polacco’s family history and I loved the way that she put so much emphasis on how the keeping quilt was such an important family heirloom and I loved how her family used the quilt for their family traditions such as using it as a huppa for each family member’s weddings.  I can easily relate to the importance of family heritage in this book as my family has special heirlooms that were passed down from generation to generation and we get the opportunity to learn more about our heritages through our family heirlooms.  It was also interesting learning about Russian traditions within Patricia Polacco’s family since I am always interested in learning about different traditions from other countries.  Patricia Polacco’s illustrations are extremely beautiful and creative as the illustrations are shown in mainly black and white colors, however the quilt is the only image in the book that is colored and it helps signify the importance of the quilt to the entire family.  I also loved the way that Patricia Polacco made her family look extremely realistic and heartwarming as they have realistic facial expressions that range from sadness to happiness, which truly made me feel so much emotion from the characters.

Overall, “The Keeping Quilt” is a truly beautiful and inspiring book about the importance of celebrating your family traditions and the importance of being a true family that many children will easily enjoy for many years!  I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since some of the Russian terms like “babushka” and “huppa” might be too difficult for smaller children to understand.


  1. There was something very familiar about the illustrations in these last few posts you've done on Patricia Polacco and so I went and looked on my daughter's shelf. Sure enough, we have a baby board book by her, full of farm animals and it's wonderful. I am glad to know she wrote books for older kids too, and will keep a lookout for them when my little one is old enough to appreciate them. They sound fantastic.

    1. Yeah! Patricia Polacco is a really great author! You should definitely check out her books!