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The mystery of the vanishing pocket money

Someone’s stealing pocket money in school.

Either that or Pangzi is lying about his missing pocket money. Maybe he’s not lying. Just extremely bad at managing cash.


You see, being the generous father that I am, I give Pangzi a wad of notes to bring to school every day. With pocket money comes greater choice. He can avail himself to a plethora of food options at the canteen during recess time.

The problem is, he never ends up with any cash left when he gets home.

I was introduced to the book Lolly’s Secret by local writer Angela Yong. “Make him read it, and your problem will go away” was the accompanying kind advice.


In order to stem my losses, I thought there’s no harm giving it a try.

“Take this book and go read it in your room,” I instructed Pangzi. “When you’re done let me know.”

He shook his head.


“Fine, you’re reading it with me!” I snapped. My Pokemon chores had to wait.

It turns out Lolly’s Secret is about this pig who wants to buy a super lollypop but cannot afford it. So she saves part of her pocket money every day in a piggybank until she is ready.


Because the piggybank is magical, the cash multiplies itself inside. I wonder if the magic still applies if the piggybank is not used by a pig.


The story ends on a simple note: good things happen to children who save.


“Get it?” I asked Pangzi, skipping the complicated details about the time value of money and compound interest.

He shook his head.

“Daddy, I have my own secret to tell you…”


I knew it! This liar was finally going to confess.

“Someone’s blackmailing you?”

He shook his head.

“I really spend all my pocket money on food,” he said sheepishly. “One portion for myself and one portion for this girl in class.”


Mystery solved. I decided that’s okay then.


Lolly’s Secret is available at Kinokuniya and other major bookstores.



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