District Highlights

#FridayReads: Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Sam and the Lucky Money

Highland Park Elementary teacher Yin Tsia recommends Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn is one of my favourite books to read during the Lunar New Year. The story is beautifully depicted with its vibrant watercolours capturing the boy’s emotions and the Chinatown backdrop. Reading this book brings back fond memories from my own childhood, when I accompanied my mom as we explored the bustling streets of Chinatown. 

The author skillfully integrates cultural elements and language, exploring the boy’s compassion as he gives his New Year’s money (hóngbāo/lai see) to a homeless man. The book highlights important themes such as empathy, compassion and kindness.

I believe showing characters from different backgrounds, cultures and perspectives in books fosters a richer, more inclusive reading experience. It provides readers with a broader understanding of the world and promotes empathy by showcasing diverse voices and experiences. This book does a lovely job of that.

Sam and the Lucky Money is available in SD42 libraries and as an eBook on Sora.

Cover of the book "Sam and the Lucky Money" by Karen Chinn along with three red envelopes for Lunar New Year.

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