Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Raven Tree Press; Bilingual edition (June 28, 2004)
Language: English, Spanish
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.4 x 11.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #146,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #5 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Children's Health > Special Needs Children #23 in Books > Libros en espaÃ±ol > Salud, mente y cuerpo > Salud Personal #52 in Books > Libros en espaÃ±ol > Infantil y juvenil > Asuntos
Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 3
"My Pal Victor" is a great children's book that also teaches some beginning Latin American Spanish vocablulary and accepting others for who they are. Each page of the book has the text printed in both English and Spanish so it is easy to associate the English and Spanish words. The illustrations are colorful and will easily hold the interest of a young reader. The story line shows the strong friendship between Victor and Dominic.I had a couple of other people take a look at the book and found that most people miss part of the surprise at the end of the book. Victor has a disability which would cause most people to end the book with a comment that they like Victor just the way he is, but the author turns this philosophy on its head when Dominic says that the most important thing about Victor is that he accepts Dominic just the way he is. What a wonderful conclusion and a great way to teach perspective. "My Pal Victor" is a recommended read.
Kindergarten-Grade 2–Pedestrian prose and amateurish illustrations mar this treatment of friendship despite disabilities. Dominic's friend, Victor, may not walk, but he's far from disabled. He is not only a source of support, but a limit-pushing, life-expanding influence. Always ready with an imaginative story, a sidesplitting joke, or one more terrifying ride at the amusement park, Victor cheers Dominic on at softball games and admires his swimming ability. The closing twist reads: "But, the most important thing about my pal, Victor, is that he likes me just the way I am." This is paired with a picture showing one boy in a wheelchair. Libraries will be better served by Fred Rogers's Extraordinary Friends (Putnam, 2000) orLaura Dwight's We Can Do It! (Star Bright, 1998).Copyright Â© Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Review
Synopsis: Dominic tells about all the things he does with his pal Victor and he portrays Victor to be a great friend. The two boys, Dominic and Victor do lots of fun things together. They look up at the clouds and Victor makes up stories about them. Victor says that they look like dragons, rocket ships and the pyramids in Mexico. He says, "My Pal Victor, tells great jokes." For example one of Victor's jokes was "If you mix a parrot and a pickle together what do you get?" Answer: "A pickle who wants a cracker." Victor goes to Dominic's baseball games to cheer for him. The boys go swimming. Victor tells scary ghost stories. Dominic tells how they love to ride rollercoasters together. Most importantly, Victor likes Dominic just the way Dominic is.Evaluation: This story is realistic contemporary fiction. It is written in both Spanish and English. On every page English is on the top and Spanish is underneath it. Dominic and Victor are both Hispanic. Victor is handicapped. He's in a wheelchair. However, the reader does not see his wheelchair in the illustrations until the last page, and nothing about him being handicapped or different is in the text. Bertrand portrays Victor as a child who can do everything any child can do. He can even swim! The jokes in the story are slightly lame, but to children they may be funny. The answers to the jokes can be found on the last page along with vocabulary translated from English to Spanish. The theme is different from many other books with handicapped children in them being the fact that most books are from the perspective that the handicapped child is happy to be accepted whereas in this book the non-handicapped person is happy to be accepted just the way he is by a handicapped person. My Pal, VICTOR won the Schneider Family Book Award in 2005.
This is a simple story that any child can relate to. The author takes two boys through many fun experiences, emphasizing that the two are having fun and enjoying one another. By the end of the story, Victor's obvious difference doesn't seem to matter at all. The affirmation at the end doesn't smack of a "moral" that would otherwise make it too sweet.
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