BOOK REVIEWS

Xiaoshan Di YA Shui Qian Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-05-06 
Review Score: 3 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:158430085X
LANGUAGE:English

"Sam and the Lucky Money is a nice story about being thankful for what you do have, even when you may be disappointed in what you don't.
After Sam gets his New Years presents from his grandparents he can't wait to go shopping. In the end he finds that he not only doesn't have enough for what he wants but he doesn't have enough to do much at all. Sam, like a lot of kids these days, isn't very happy about this and it shows. I think many a kid will be able to relate to this.
While shopping in Chinatown with his Mother he comes across an old homeless man who wears no shoes. Finally, after some time and thought, Sam knows what to do with his money. The little bit of money that wouldn't do much for Sam could do a lot for someone else.
It's a great lesson and Chinn does a great job of getting it across to the readers without it being overdone.
" said.

"This book takes a traditional Asian holiday and brings it to a big American city. While doing so readers experience the Chinese New Year and some of the special events and treats that go with it.

The little boy in this story is given free rein to spend his New Year's dollars any way he wants this year. As he thinks this over the reader is introduced to the bakery, which sells Chinese pastry. While shopping in the crowded streets Sam meets a homeless man who is not wearing any shoes. Sam is startled by the appearance of this man but he quickly forgets as the dancing and fireworks begin in the street. His thoughts of the family and the New Year lead him back to the man without shoes. Sam decides he wants to use his money to help this man stay warm.

The setting of this story is a wonderful experience. Many readers are not familiar with Chinatown and many do not know how the New Year is celebrated. Through this stroy of good deeds and giving the reader gets to experience the wonders of the Chinese New Year.
" said.

"Student Name: Chris Maynard

Purpose: Picture Book (Wide Reading Project)

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Format: Picture Book

Grade: Intermediate

Subject/Themes: See Above Bookshelves

School Use: Sam and the Lucky Money has great applications beyond teaching students about homelessness and the importance of putting materialism aside for the sake of helping others. I can see this being used in a social studies classroom around the holidays to teach about different celebrations such as the Chinese New Year. Similar multicultural ideas, such as different neighborhoods like Chinatown, could be explored in the classroom and related to student lives. This is definitely a picture book that I would like in my late primary or intermediate classroom.

Review: Besides its incredible message of taking care of the less fortunate by putting material needs aside, Sam and the Lucky Money stood out in terms of its content about the Chinese New Year (e.g., describing the red envelopes, establishing the idea of "lucky money", etc.) and the vibrant illustrations of Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. The dynamic colors throughout the illustrations truly portray a neighborhood (Chinatown) and event (Chinese New Year) that may seem foreign to me but still offer the opportunity for selfless actions (giving the lucky money to the homeless man) that transcend cultures and bind us together as humans. Overall, the execution of this message between the interplay of text and illustrations was really effective and impacting to me, leaving me feeling hopeful about humanity, at least when it comes to children, at the end of this read.
" said.

"In Sam and the Lucky Money, Sam has been give four red envelopes, one from each of his grandparents, each one containing &1.00. Sam thinks he is quite rich with his $4.00 and is especially happy because this year, his mom said he can buy anything he wants with his fortune.

On the morning of the big New Year parade, Sam and his mom go shopping for all the things they will need to celebrate the New Year at home. The streets are crowded and busy with people out doing the same things as Sam and mom. Restless when his mother stops at the vegetable store, Sam started kicking at some piles of red paper nearby. Suddenly he hears a yelp and he discovers a homeless Chinese man wearing dirty clothes and no shoes or socks despite the cold weather.

But the man is soon forgotten because the next stop is the bakery and Sam thinks about what he can buy there with his Lucky Money - a nice fresh bun, or maybe a sweet egg tart or some coconut pastries (which happen to be my favorites). Suddenly there is a noise outside announcing the approach of the colorful, giant Lion doing his dance. Caught up in the excitement, Sam forgets about the bakery.

After the Lion dance, Sam and his mom go into a new toy store, but everything Sam looks at cost more than $4.00. Angry and disappointed, Sam complained to his mom about his Lucky Money. Mom tells him he must learn to appreciate the gifts he is given. But, the bright sunny day has become overcast and no longer fun. Along the way, Sam spies the homeless man once again and as his mom hands the man a quarter, Sam sees how grateful he is for the small gift she has given him and Sam suddenly knows exactly what to do with is Lucky Money. It won't buy shoes, but it will buy socks.

Sam and the Lucky Money is is a wonderful read aloud for kids. It is not so much about teaching young readers about the Lunar New Year, as it is about helping them to understand the importance of being thankful for what they have. Besides gratitude, Sam also learns about compassion and generosity. The nice part about all that is it comes in the form of a lovely story that young readers will no doubt enjoy.

The beautiful realistic illustrations in Sam and the Lucky Money were by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu in bright colorful watercolors, giving the book a feeling of celebration.

This book is recommended for readers age 5+
This book was purchased for my personal library.

This review was originally posted at Randomly Reading
" said.

"I can say that this story is realistic and historical fiction. This is an AWESOME read! I love how you can learn about the Chinese culture and socioeconomic in one book. I loved how the author didn't just have you start with socioeconomic at the beginning of the story with the family being poor. That was really different. The author had great flow and also gave a language lesson on some words in Chinese. That was AWESOME! There are many lessons from this story. You can teach the students about kindness, gratefulness and sharing. The illustrator was great, the picture were relevant to the story. The picture were live and bright. You felt like you were there! All in all overall great read! Recommended for all teachers!" said.

"I really enjoyed this book today and when I was a young child. My mother had this book at my home. I recently re-read the book. This excellent for children of all ages. It provides information about Chinese traditions and includes a good a message about giving to those who have fewer fortunes. I liked the storyline and moral. However, I disliked the small text on the pages. Karen Chinn did a good job introducing readers to Chinese words such as “lai see” for “lucky money.” This is great for the classroom because of the new words that can be included in students’ vocabulary. I highly recommend this book. " said.

"The main character starts off as a spoiled child, wanting to find the best thing he can buy for himself with the money from his Red Envelopes since he's been told he can spend it on anything. He goes to a shop selling sweets and buns with his mother but isn't sure if he wants to spend his money, so he waits. He goes to a toy store and finds out that the all of the toys cost more than he has: $4.

Between going to these different shops, he accidentally kicks a homeless man. And he learns, from both the homeless man and his mother, to be grateful for what he has.
" said.

" Read bc of releasing: bookcrossing " said.

June 2018 New Book:

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