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Sam and the Lucky Money Paperback – July, 1997
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It's Chinese New Year in Chinatown, and young Sam has four dollars of New Year money burning a hole in his pocket. As he and his mother are milling through the crowded streets--alive with firecrackers, lion dances, and shoppers--Sam accidentally steps on the foot of a homeless man who is buried in a pile of red paper. Flustered, Sam hurries back to his mother, and is soon distracted by the char siu bao and other sweets he might buy with his gift money. When he sees fish-tail cookies that remind him of toes, he remembers the old man again, and Sam starts to think of his "lucky money" in a new light. Karen Chinn's winning story is perfectly complemented by the vibrant watercolors of Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu, creators of the award-winning Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree and A House by the River. Voted "Pick of the Lists" by American Bookseller, Sam and the Lucky Money succeeds at telling a simple story, while allowing young readers to explore the sights and sounds of an American urban Chinatown during the Chinese New Year. (Ages 4 to 8)
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2-Sam receives four bright red envelopes decorated with shiny gold emblems as part of the traditional Chinese New Year celebration, each containing a dollar. As he accompanies his mother through Chinatown, his anticipation of how to spend it diminishes when he realizes that the "lucky money" won't buy as much as he had hoped. His mood is further sobered after an encounter with a man he stumbles upon in the street. He nobly, though not surprisingly, concludes that his four dollars would be best spent on the barefoot stranger. Though the traditional message that it is better to give than to receive will be apparent to adults immediately, it is handled in a genuine, thoughtful manner that will be realistic to children. Detailed descriptions of the sights and sounds of the New Year celebration build in contrast to Sam's growing introspection, becoming even more dramatic and adding to the depth of the story. The illustrators masterfully combine Chinatown's exotic setting with the universal emotions of childhood through expressive portraits of the characters.
Starr LaTronica, Four County Library System, Vestal, NY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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