The Story of Alison Hubble by Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman

This is the story of Alison Hubble, who went to bed single and woke up double! 

In the light of yesterday’s maths training day I had to share this book!

Meet Alison Hubble; a girl who has a habit of doubling and causes no end of hilarity and problems for her parents. In an early instance, they send both Alisons off to school with a note explaining the conundrum to the teacher, which finishes with “…PS, her extra dinner money is enclosed.”

Later Alison doubles again and, because she is part of the girls’ football team, the four Alisons on the goal line mean that the opposing team cannot score. Dad struggles the next morning when Alison has doubled again in the night; there are now eight identical Alisons to get ready for school! The teacher at school is driven to distraction by all the Alisons who reply to their name/s being called in the class register!

All sorts of people try to help but nothing can stop the problem of Alison doubling! The ending of the story is somewhat ambiguous hinting at possible further adventures from Alison.

As with all Ahlberg books, reading this is enchanting. The rhythm and rhymes mean that the text literally rolls off the tongue. The illustrations from Ingman brilliantly depict the mayhem that ensues with every doubling moment!

The obvious link is to times tables and the doubling of numbers. Can pupils write their own story of an Alison dilemma?! It’s definitely a way to get even your least keen and most ‘worried about maths’ pupils easily engaged and understanding this concept.

Imagine a maths lesson beginning with a story!

Vicky Windross 

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