Author of the acclaimed That’s It Pancit!, Patricia Ngo, returns with yet another storybook called Lucy’s Luck. Under Anvil Publishing, Lucy’s Luck takes another dive into what it means to be Filipino-Chinese: “Lucy has never been lucky when it comes to pua tiong chiu, a dice game played every Mid-Autumn Festival. For every roll, a player gets a prize and this year Lucy aims to win a delicious cake, but in order to get it she needs to roll chong gwan, which is first place. Will Lucy have enough luck to take the cake and finally win first prize?”
Lucy’s Luck (Php 125)
As the description mentions, Lucy’s Luck is centered on our popular September tradition, the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. To partake in the Mid-Autumn Festival traditions, Lucy’s family plays pua tiong chiu or the Mooncake Festival Dice Game. Patricia expressed, “I wrote this story so that more people can learn about the dice game. It remains to be one of my favorite Chinoy traditions. I wanted to show how fun playing pua tiong chiu is through Lucy and her family.” Readers can learn to play the dice game too! Patricia appended a game guide at the back of her book so people could play independently.
The story’s themes remain universal. Even if the reader has never played the dice game, they can still relate to several scenes that show sportsmanship, hope, determination, and perseverance. “Even if kids haven’t played pua tiong chiu before, they can relate to working towards achieving something, celebrating family traditions, and playing games.”
Previously, Patricia published That’s It, Pancit! which tells the story of a little girl in search of her identity while living the best of both worlds as a Filipino-Chinese. Patricia shares what she hopes to accomplish with Lucy’s Luck, following her first book: “Lily from my other book That’s it, Pancit! talks about how fun having two cultures is. The dice game is part of that. I wanted to share the fun side of Chinoy culture and invite more people to the experience. I also wanted to share more Chinoy stories in general. Many tales remain untold. I want to do my part in telling them one book at a time.”
With her books, she hopes that her fellow Chinoys appreciate our culture and see that our collective stories are worth telling. She adds: “I also hope Lucy’s Luck shows how cultures continue to evolve and blend among families and generations. The dice game is one example. Lucy’s family has snacks, sweets, and toys as prizes. This is already a modification to the original game where mooncakes were the only prize.”
After publishing Lucy’s Luck, Patricia wants to keep her writing as a hobby for now. “ I’m working towards writing more without pressuring myself. I want to continue having fun during the process because I believe that readers will enjoy my stories only if I enjoy writing them.” She has many hopes for her writing journey which includes writing a wider range of stories and topics like food! In the end, her aim is to “ keep inspiring people to see and appreciate the lives they lead and the world around them.”