My Pal, Victor

By Alyssa Bewley-EDEL 411-Section D

Gonzales-Bertrand, D. (2004). My Pal, Victor. Raven Tree Press.

About The Book

Author: Diane Gonzales Bertrand

Illustrator: Robert L. Sweetland

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Topic: True friendship is the most important thing

Reading Level: K-4

Awards: recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) as the 2005 winner of The Schneider Family Book Award for best picture book for young children.

About the Author

Diane Gonzales Bertrand is the author of many books for children and young adults. Diane is a native of San Antonio, Texas. Diane wrote her first novel when she was in the 5th grade. She has always been a writer; she wrote school plays, Girl Scout skits, poems, funny soap operas, religious plays, and translated Shakespeare into easier words for her students when she was a teacher. Diane said that her family has inspired her to write and keep writing books because of the need for books about families like hers. Diane has many accomplishments such as: National Hispanic Scholar, Author for PEN center Writer-in School Program, Member National Council Teachers of English, Member Texas Council of Creative Writing, and Texas' Writers League. She is now currently teaching English Composition and creative Writing at St. Mary's University in Texas.

About The Illustrator

Although deceased now, Robert (Bob) Sweetland had several accomplishments. Bob was an illustrator of five children's books, one being My Pal, Victor. One of his books won the 2005 Schneider Award for Best Picture Book of the Year for Children with Disabilities. Another thing that he accomplished was that he authored "The Artist's Notebook," a 62-week newspaper series and through Titletown Advertising was artist of the National Football League Portrait Promotion, which included 565 NFL portraits. He also founded the School of Communication Arts and the Blue Beret Art Workshop. Along with accomplishing the accomplishments listed, Bob has about seventeen other accomplishments to go along with those. To learn more about Robert Sweetland's history and information click on the link below!

Criteria for High Quality Multicultural Literature

1. Demonstrate unique language or style. Every page in the book has text in English and in Spanish, thus, making it easy for both English and Spanish readers to read this book and learn a valuable lesson.

2. Includes member of a "minority" group for a purpose other than filling a "quota". Victor and Dominic are both from some kind of hispanic background. The book tells a story about these two hispanic backgrounded boys who have a strong friendship.

3. Names of characters should be culturally authentic and their personalities should reflect believable attributes. Victor is a commonly known spanish origin name, usually pronounced (v IH k - t er). Dominic could typically be a hispanic name but is not as commonly occurring as Victor.

My Pal, Victor Lesson Idea

Grade Level 2

CCSS RI.2.7 Explain how specific images contribute to and clarify a text.

The students will find evidence from pictures in the text that help tell the story and will explain how these images contribute to and clarify the text.

Lesson Procedure:

  • The lesson will begin with the teacher asking meaningful and relatable questions such as: Who has a best friend? What do you and your best friend do for fun? The teacher will then introduce the book, My Pal, Victor, and tell the class that we will be learning about two best friends today. The teacher will remind the students to look closely at the illustrations in the book.
  • The teacher will read the book aloud. As the teacher and the class is reading through the book the class, as a whole, will thoroughly look at the illustrations on each page and describe what is happening. Throughout the book on some of the pages the teacher should wait to read the text and have the class look at the illustrations to see if the class can figure out what is happening on that page without information from the text.
  • After the book is over the class will talk about what happened in the book. What surprised you at the end? The class will talk about the last picture in the book of Dominic and Victor.
  • When the discussion is over, the teacher will direct students back to their desks. At the student's desks, the students will write a brief reasoning from the questions: Why is it important to look at the pictures in a book? What can the pictures or illustrations tell you? Explain evidence you found in My Pal, Victor that supports the importance of illustrations and why.


My Pal, Victor by bewlealy