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The Blessing Cup
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About the Author

Patricia Polacco belongs to a family of storytellers, poets, farmers, teachers, and artists. They came from many parts of the world, but mainly Russia. She grew up to be an illustrator, a designer, and creator of many beloved children's books, including The Keeping Quilt, The Blessing Cup, Fiona's Lace, The Trees of the Dancing Goats, Babushka's Doll, and My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother. She lives in Union City, Michigan. Visit her at PatriciaPolacco.com and follow her on Facebook.

Reviews

"Polacco has a gift for turning her own family stories into picture books that can touch the hearts of all.
History, religious persecution, immigration, and the skeins of faith and love that connect a family are all knit together in this powerful, accessible and deeply affecting story." Kirkus Reviews, starred review * Kirkus Reviews *
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. (Aug.) * Publishers Weekly *
"The importance of family is the underlying message of the book; it will be best delivered by an adult who can explain some of the history that drives the action. Polacco's touching yet restrained storytelling, paired with her evocative illustrations, makes The Blessing Cup an excellent addition to any collection."- School Library Journal * School Library Journal *
"The Keeping Quilt (1988) began with Polacco's great-grandmother Anna's arrival in America. In this sort-of prequel, Anna and her family are forced to leave Russia during the pogroms. The understated telling is beautifully supported and extended in art that harks back to Polacco's early books. The illustrations are rendered in soft gray pencil. Backgrounds are roughly yet adroitly sketched, while faces and body language are particularly expressive, and panoramic views of the shtetl are lively with detail. A few strategic features draw the eye with brilliant red and blue: small accents such as the tea set and Anna's headscarf; once, a double-page spread of the village temple in flames. This is family history at its dramatic and iconic best, a well-shaped story and a fine addition to Polacco's oeuvre." The Horn Book * The Horn Book *

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