Tarbescu recounts her mother's journey from Russia to America at the turn of the century. A letter from Papa in America summons Anya (Annushka to her grandfather) and her younger sister Tanya to him, and, eventually, steamship tickets arrive. Annushka and Tanya leave their grandparents and arrive first in Holland, and then in America. Along the way, there are storms and seasickness, but Papa finds them at Ellis Island, and their new life with him begins. The details aren't explicit; readers must infer that the girls come from Russia, and the early chronology in the story is fuzzy, e.g., the length of the sea voyage isn't indicated. The story has charm, however, especially for children whose own family tales find echoes in this one. Swirling, crowded, and colorful illustrations capture all the confusion of the emigrant experience, as well as the exhilaration. An author's note, with a picture of her mother and aunt, dates the tale to the late 1800s in Russia under Czar Alexander III.