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I first came across this book thanks to this Changing Phase blog by Clare Seccombe on reading in French. I have only recently bought it, but I am so glad I have. Thanks for the recommendation Clare!
Language of text: French
Type of text: picture book
Author or source: Guido van Genechten, published by Mijade
Intended age of students: Key Stages 1/2
Source reference: 9782871427001
I look at the cover with the children; most of them will probably understand the title, but I tell them that it is about a fish looking for its mum, and during the first reading they have to tell me “oui” or “non”, whether it is its mum or not.
During the second reading, the children will also repeat the names of the animals, eg “c’est un crabe”; during the third reading they will be able to say what colours the animals are (stop just before you say the colour, the children have to say it, if they know their colours); they can also all join in with the question: “Est-ce la maman de Petit Poisson Blanc ?”, or you could split the class in 2 and have half the class asking the question, half the class answering it, and vice-versa.
This book is very simple and colourful, yet you can do a lot with it. It can be used with very young children who will just join in with “oui” or “non” but will be emotionally engaged with the story; it can be read to older primary school children who will look closely at the language used and the grammar points (as mentioned below).
It even introduces fun phrases like “mais non, voyons”, which the children will enjoy using in the classroom afterwards.
This story can be used to introduce or reinforce colours, animals, masculine and feminine, or even adjectival agreement.
As Clare Seccombe suggests in her Changing Phase blog, once they are very familiar with the story the children can write their own version of it and choose a different hero as well as different animals to go and see; they could all be forest animals for example. They can pick from a list of animals or practise their dictionaries skills and make a minibook. They need to be aware of adjectival agreements if they are to include colours too.

Added in 2022: Nathalie Grayson in the Languages in Primary Schools Facebook group (otherwise known as LiPS, click here to join it) has kindly shared a sequence of lessons to go with this story (click here: Petit poisson blanc lesson plans) and another resource (here: petit-poisson-blanc-imagier-) from the lovely blog Pépinette à l’école (click here for the blog).

Topics or themes:
colours; sea animals; all animals
masculine and feminine; adjectival agreement; word order; asking “is it?” in French
How much time required:
1-2 lessons
Click here to buy this lovely little book at Little Linguist!

What is your favourite story about an animal looking for a parent? I know there are many out there! Please share int eh comments below!
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