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This book is another great “vide-grenier” find for me: I have read it over and over again, so much language in so few words and such great detailed illustrations, I can’t get enough of it!
There is no need to be fluent in French to be able to share this story with your class but the level of the language is a little more than just beginner’s. Please do ask if you need help with understanding it.
Language of text: French
Author or source: Michael Escoiffier, Matthieu Maudet
Intended age of students: Key Stage 2/3
Source reference: 9782211206242
This is a story about animals waiting to see the vet… but something weird is happening in the waiting room… I hadn’t even noticed until I was reading it to a child who pointed out to me that an animal had disappeared! I want to read this to children, let them enjoy it through to the end then read it again and ask them to pay particular attention to the pictures to see if they can work out what is going on; a bit of detective work is necessary here!
This story really is fun and the children will want to share it over and over again until they truly have worked everything out.
They could write their own version of the story afterwards, changing the animals and what is wrong with them; they could also design the ideal waiting room for animals and/or humans at the doctor’s and label it in French.
The pupils will feel more confident understanding about body parts, aches and pains and talking about healthy living. You could also do some dictionary work: the children have to find the French for the animals in the story as they are not your usual pets.
Topics or themes:
body parts, aches and pains, healthy living, animals
the imperative, au/a la/aux
How much time required:
1-2 lessons
Exploit further with my ideas sheet here: exploiting the picture book Bonjour Docteur
You will find more about the story itself here then lots of ideas of extra activities and resources to exploit it here. The official help page on this book by l’école des loisirs is also here.
More books illustrated by Matthieu Maudet can be discovered here.

i demonstrated a way to use this book in the webinar I delivered for Linguascope in the summer 2020: “You can teach (nearly) everything with a picture book”. Click here to read more about it.
Have fun and do let me know how you get on with this story!
French picture books with BAME characters in them