The Blessing Cup

24 Nov


Those of you who know me well, know how much I admire Patricia Polacco’s storytelling style.  It’s not your typical picture book prose, with few sentences and basic vocabulary.  (This one comes in at over 2000 words!) It’s rich.  It’s deep.  It’s emotional.   And I love it!

Her newest picture book, The Blessing Cup is a companion book (actually a prequel) to The Keeping Quilt.  It is a beautifully written story of her family’s exodus from Russia with nothing except what they could carry in a small cart pulled only by her parents.  In addition to papa’s sewing machine, their menorah, and his holy books, their most prized possession was the china tea set given to her great-great-grandmother on her wedding day.  The tea set is ultimately given to a kind doctor as a gift for nursing papa back to health after he collapsed in the street.  The doctor took the whole family into his home while papa recovered and sold a Persian rug to buy them passage on a ship to America, after he was found housing Jews.  Mama only kept one cup which she shared with her family every night.  Eventually this one cup made its way to each generation of daughters.  Each daughter learned the story of the exodus and the kind doctor.  Each daughter was given the blessing cup as a wedding gift.  Each daughter shared in its blessings.

To quote from the front flap, “The Blessing Cup is a story of family, tradition, and , most of all, love.”  It’s a wonderful story and I hope you take a few minutes to share it with your family.  And for those of you who are preparing to celebrate Hanukkah this week, peace and blessings to you and your families!

I just found this interview with Patricia Polacco on NPR and would like to share it with you.  Please take a listen, she gives such insight to herself and her work.

8 Responses to “The Blessing Cup”

  1. KidLitReviews December 3, 2013 at 1:33 AM #

    What an exciting book. I could not image going through all of this to get to America. Inspiring. The illustrations are beautiful.


    • Juliana Lee December 3, 2013 at 2:20 PM #

      It truly is inspiring! It reminds us to embrace our heritage and remember our past. I’m glad you enjoyed the book.


  2. Perfecting Motherhood November 26, 2013 at 12:18 AM #

    These look like books my kids and I should read. Thanks for the recommendation!


    • Juliana Lee November 26, 2013 at 8:50 AM #

      I’m sure you’ll love them! Patricia Pollaco really has a gift with words and emotion.


  3. Patricia Tilton November 25, 2013 at 10:58 AM #

    This is on my list to purchase. I love Patricia Polacco’s books. She is one of the few PB authors who can get away with 2000 words. This sounds like a gem. This piece of her family history I didn’t know about. Can’t wait to read it. We still have the original autographed copy of “The Keeping Quilt.” I was surprised to see she still shares a copy of the quilt at presentations. My daughter and I saw the real quilt.


    • Juliana Lee November 25, 2013 at 11:16 AM #

      Wow! You’re going to really love this book then! In the illustrations, you can see some of the clothing that went into the Keeping Quilt too.


  4. kathefain November 25, 2013 at 10:41 AM #

    Thank you for for reviewing this book. It’s great to know a meaningful story like this is still able to make its way into the hands of children and their loved ones.


    • Juliana Lee November 25, 2013 at 11:18 AM #

      I hope you like it as much as I did Kathe! And thank you for joining my small (but growing) blog community!


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