Tag Archives: Russia

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.


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