Maggie's Books & Recipes

in Memory of Margaret H.L. Lim

Precious Jade & Turnip Head

Payah and Usun, celebrating Chinese New Year with Precious Jade down in Kampong China, learn why Precious Jade’s little brother is called Turnip Head.
Four Eyes, the little orphan Penan boy now in the care of Payah’s great aunt Uku Nyalo, is Turnip Head’s best friend.
As one of Uku Nyalo’s hens disappears, Payah senses trouble brewing. While everyone seems to develope a laissez faire attitude towards the disappearance of Uku Nyalo’s best layer, Uku Nyalo herself sets out to investigate, leaving no stone unturned.
Meanwhile Payah has learnt that Four Eyes and Turnip Head are behind the disappearance of Uku Nyalo’s layer.  Out of fear that Four Eyes would be banished from her longhouse, she tries to hinder her great aunt’s investigation.
However even Payah cannot out-fox Uku Nyalo, whose unerring instinct leads her to Turnip Head as the main culprit.  She demands compensation from Turnip Head’s great-grandmother who is famous up and down Belaga for her legendary White Leghorns that are capable of laying up to 300 eggs a year!
But Turnip Head’s great-grandmother is as wily as they come. She seizes the chance to get rid of her fattest (and laziest) Leghorn.  However she does not come unscathed out of this confrontation.  Nor do Four Eyes or Turnip Head!
However, what begins with a celebration also ends with a celebration!

“Whenever Four Eyes and Turnip Head find themselves in a tight spot, they can always reckon on Payah … I can only mourn the days when pleasures were simple and friends were at your side instead of online.” – Vivien Ng, English Teacher.

“A vanished hen, a broken coffin,  two excitable elderly relatives and a pack of children – Margaret Lim continues to amuse and delight her readers as she captures a slice of childhood in rural Sarawak brought deliciously alive by her daughter’s wonderful illustrations.” - Sharon Ling, Journalist.

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Precious Jade and Turnip Head by Margaret H.L. Lim