Annushka's Voyage

Overview

Set at the turn of the century, this sensitively told story, based on the true story of the author's own mother's journey to America, follows the journey of two young sisters as they travel from their small village in Russia to join their papa in New York. In her lively text, Edith Tarbescu communicates the hopes and fears of the two young immigrants. Expressive illustrations capture the many extraordinary moments of the sisters' transatlantic journey including their glorious reunion with Papa, made possible with...

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Overview

Set at the turn of the century, this sensitively told story, based on the true story of the author's own mother's journey to America, follows the journey of two young sisters as they travel from their small village in Russia to join their papa in New York. In her lively text, Edith Tarbescu communicates the hopes and fears of the two young immigrants. Expressive illustrations capture the many extraordinary moments of the sisters' transatlantic journey including their glorious reunion with Papa, made possible with the help of a pair of special Sabbath candlesticks.

The Sabbath candlesticks given to them by their grandmother when they leave Russia help two sisters make it safely to join their father in New York.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...colorful illustrations capture all the confusion of the meigrant experience, as well as the exhilaration." Kirkus Reviews
Children's Literature - Jackie Hechtkopf
Carrying precious gifts from loving grandparents, Annushka and Tanya leave their Russian homeland to join their father in America. The young sisters are intimidated by the size of the steamship, the crowded conditions in steerage, and the violent rocking of the ship during a storm. But they cling to each other until the day the ship approaches the New York Harbor. The excited crowd on deck separates the girls, until Annushka, "like the Statue of Liberty holding her torch," raises her grandmother's Sabbath candlestick. They make it through the dreaded medical examination at Ellis Island and are tearfully reunited with Papa. Tarbescu's account of her mother and aunt's journey to America is both straightforward and poetic. Dabcovich's fine illustrations lend authenticity, with period details like kerchiefs, fur hats, and embroidered aprons. The youngest sister is often shown clutching the doll Grandpa gave her. An author's note explains why so many Jews were forced to leave Russia at the turn of the century. This descriptive account of an immigration experience will make a fine complement to the social studies curriculum.
Kirkus Reviews
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. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395643662
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Lydia Dabcovich is the author/illustrator of many books for children. She lives with her husband in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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