Frequent fighting with hitting, kicking, punching, biting, and hard slaps on the face described. Sounds of skull cracking, bones crunching mentioned. Five-year-old Mishka sees and hears his mother being physically abused, and the same man hits him several times.
This is a heartwarming yet bittersweet survival story.
" /Russian vocabulary such as "sapsibo," "pozhalsta," and more.
Russian folklore such as the firebird, Baba Yaga, and some fairy tales are mentioned briefly.
The author's note explains the background of homeless children in post-communist Russia and about the real Ivan who inspired the story.