Background to the book

Times Fables® was originally written for my daughter, to help her master her times tables. Very much a visual learner, she has always struggled with rote learning, and nowhere was this more apparent than when it came to learning her times tables.

As a mathematician, it was frustrating to see her struggle. I tried to make learning her tables fun, but sadly, nothing seemed to work. We tried playing card games, dice games, and board games. We downloaded games onto our  iPad. We bought colouring books where you only colour in multiples of 4 or 5, pop-up books, and workbooks. We sang and chanted the tables while doing star jumps in the kitchen. We even spent an afternoon in our local coffee shop trying to make up little rhymes together to help commit the tables to memory. Ultimately though, all failed to cement the tables in my then-8-year-old’s brain, and only served to make her more convinced that maths was simply “not her thing.”

Determined not to give up, I thought back to my own school days, and remembered that my favourite multiplication was 7 times 8. Why? Because we lived in house number 56. A lightbulb went off in my head, and I started wondering if the solution to my daughter’s times tables woes might be as simple as giving some context to the multiplication facts to aid recall.

And with this, Times Fables® was born…