A bond of love unites a family throughout generations in this companion to the beloved and bestselling classic The Keeping Quilt.
As a young Russian Jewish girl in the early 1900s, Anna and her family lived in fear of the Czar’s soldiers. The family lived a hard life and had few possessions—their treasure was a beautiful china tea set. A wedding gift to Anna’s parents, the tea set came with a wish that “Anyone who drinks from this will have blessings from God. They will never know a day of hunger. Their lives will always have flavor. They will know love and joy and they will never be poor.”
When Anna’s family leaves Russia for America, they bring the tea set and its blessings. A source of heritage and security, the tea set helps Anna’s family make friends and find better lives in America. A cup from the tea set—The Blessing Cup—became an anchor of family history, and it remains a symbol of lasting love more than a century later.
This tender tribute to the importance of loving lineage is a prequel and companion to the perennial bestseller The Keeping Quilt and is told and illustrated with authenticity and tremendous heart.
In this prequel to The Keeping Quilt, readers learn how Polacco s great-grandmother Anna and her parents were forced from their shtetl in Czarist Russia and made their way to America. Among the few treasures the family took with them was a vibrantly painted tea set, a kind of familial talisman ( This tea set is magic. Anyone who drinks from it has a blessing from God, says Anna s mother, explaining its lore), which also served as a reminder that they would always be rich in what matters: resilience and love. Only one cup from the tea set made it to their new home, but it played a central role in the family s traditions and milestones through the generations. Polacco opens her heart to readers as few authors can, inviting them to become intimates in her family s low and high points. As in The Keeping Quilt, she renders her unabashedly sentimental scenes of immigrant life in exuberant, fluid gray pencil, reserving the splashes and spots of color primarily for the tea set and in a link to the earlier book the babushka that will become part of the quilt. Ages 4 8.