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This book was bought by one of my brothers for one of my children when they were little… and many children have had a lot of pleasure out of the story since! With “Petit-Bleu et Petit-Jaune”, it was one of the 1st ever French stories I used to aid my teaching in the classroom. It does not get old!
Want to see what the story is about? Then click here to watch a very short video introducing it!

Language of text: French
Type of text: picture book
Author or source: Ellen Stoll Walsh, published by Mijade
Intended age of students: Key Stages 1/2
Source reference: 9782871423126

From looking at the cover, the children should be able to guess that the story is about 3 mice who are painting. They often try to relate it to stories they know though, and 3 blind mice does come up! It is interesting to notice that “peintres” means “painters/painting” and comes after “souris” because it is used here as an adjective.
Before the first reading, I agree an action with the children for the words “souris” and “chat”, and whenever they hear those words, they have to join in with the action. Later on, I can do the action and they will say the words.
It is easy to get hold of cheap small white toy mice (in Ikea for instance) and a toy cat, so small children can also sit in a circle and pass either one of the mice or the cat. For colours, I have a collection of Club Penguin Puffles that I use and we pass around too.
When the children are confident with the colours, if you point to a colour on an illustration in the story, they can all say it in French.
I love this story because you can use it with little ones who will enjoy practising French words for colours and joining in, but you can also use it with older pupils and really look at the spellings, especially for work on adjectival agreement. It is very accessible and versatile.
You can also get the children to act out the story, as a class or in small groups. They love joining in with the dancing of the mice when they mix colours!
You can also of course do some painting with your children, practise mixing colours and label the colours in French!
The children will either learn or revisit basic colours through this story; they will also either learn about or revisit adjectival agreement.
They can write a mini book for themselves: not about that specific story, but about mixing colours, as in this example created for “Petit-Bleu et Petit-Jaune”: petitbleu et petitjaune Wigan
Topics or themes:
colours; grammar work on adjectives (see below)
adjectives, their positions, adjectival agreement
How much time required:
1-2 lessons
There are so many great resources available for you to exploit this story further: here for master album, here for le jardin d’Alysse. and here for Dessine-moi une histoire which actually includes links to the other 2 and more!
Do you want to buy a copy of this amazing book? Click here to get it from
For more stories about colours, click here.
Please leave a comment below if you know of another story which includes mixing colours!
N.B. Would you like to read about books, ideas, resources and opportunities for the primary languages classroom? Then click here to receive a monthly round up of my blog (and more!) straight in your mail box!