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The highly acclaimed, bestselling picture book The Keeping Quilt recently celebrated its 25th year in print. Now, all these years later, prolific children’s author and illustrator Patricia Polacco gifts us with its companion, The Blessing Cup. Once again Polacco brings to life a piece of her family’s colorful storytelling roots, a tradition that draws together the young and the old, teachers and farmers, past and present.

The Blessing Cup tells the story of Polacco’s great-grandmother, Anna, and her family’s late-night escape when Russia’s czar forced all Jewish people from their homes in the early 1900s. They can take little with them, but what they do pack is precious: a few holy books, a menorah, and the tea set that was a wedding gift to Anna’s parents. “This tea set is magic. Anyone who drinks from it has a blessing from God. They will never know hunger.”

The tea set makes its way across land and sea to America, and still farther to San Francisco and the 1989 earthquake, where a remnant cup continues to multiply blessings. Readers will be moved to wonder about the stories and blessings told in the treasures that their own families pass down from generation to generation. Ages 4 and up. (Paula Wiseman Books)

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