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I bought this great book from Little Linguist in the summer of 2021 – click here to get your own copy!

I loved the original “Petit poisson blanc” story (click here for my blog on it) and really like books where numbers are introduced or revisited in context. If you are the same, then this book is for you!

Language of text: French
Type of text: picture book
Author or source: Guido Van Genechten, published by Éditions Mijade
Intended age of students: Key Stage 1/2
Source reference: 9782871427018

Approaches:
This is the story of “Petit poisson blanc” (click here for my blog about the original story) on the day they decided to play hide-and-seek with their friends.
I tell the children what the story is about in English, then I read it all the way through to them. I love that this book has flaps hiding the animals, so as I read the story I get different pupils to open them, which they love.
Then we go through it again and make sure that we join in with the counting in French before the fish goes to look for their friends and once they find them.
On third reading, I look at the French phrase for “ready or not, here I come!” and the names of the animals.
With older pupils, you can read it one more time and look closely at the prepositions used when the animals are hiding, and at the adjectives used to describe some of the animals.

Rationale:
I bought this book because I like stories with the numbers in French but in context – we are not just counting for the sake of it, it is part of the story.
It is great to find out about unusual animals that live in the water and learn them in French too.
If you own the original book, the children will enjoy meeting a character that they are already familiar with.
It is clearly illustrated, with beautiful bright colours, and it is versatile: it can be exploited at different levels with younger and older children.
If your pupils are familiar with colours in French, you can point at the animals and things in the background of each double page and ask: “C’est de quelle couleur ?”.

Outcomes:
You may use this book either to introduce numbers up to 11, or to revisit them. If you are revisiting them, you may want to check with your children that they are confident with their numbers 1st.
The children will learn about different animals that live in water, in English and in French.
The children could then write their own version of the story, with different water animals hiding from the fish, or even totally different animals on land or in the air (but then the locations will have to be changed). The format of the story and what Petit poisson blanc says can stay the same.
There are also some lovely phrases in French that I want to keep and use in the classroom, like “là-bas” & “à ton tour”.

Topics or themes:
number to 11, water/sea creatures, colours

Grammar:
prepositions: contre, derrière, sous

How much time required:
1-2 lessons