Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales is one of a kind. It was published in 2013 and won the Pura Belpre Illustrator award for 2014. It celebrates the Spanish American heritage in an adorable children’s story. This book is about Nino; the lucha libre mini-wrestler in his undies that takes down all competition! The story begins on the inside of the front cover where we are introduced to Nino's competitors. The energy of this book is loud and proud! The coloring is bright with mostly shades of red, blue, and yellow.
I cannot express the level of happiness I feel when I read this book. The energy is so positive and playful. The book begins with Nino playing with his toys in his bedroom when suddenly, the Nino wrestling show begins! Nino puts on his red mask and wrestles his enemies until he wins. He always wins! That is, until his two little sisters wake up and become his next competitors… to which he is no match! It is a sweet ending to an even more adorable book. The “fight scenes” are reminiscent of comic book style but even more fun! The book is filled with simple words in Spanish and the hectic lucha libre wrestling madness that normally ensues. On the last page, Morales explains lucha libre in more detail for the readers.
It was refreshing to read a book with Latino characters and Spanish! This book is sure to be a hit with my second graders; especially the boys. You do not need to know anything about lucha libre wrestling to be a lover of this book. It will surely touch your heart! I am embarrassed to say I have not exposed my second graders to enough Latino/Latina literature. It is difficult to find! This book will now belong in my classroom library for all of my students to read. If you end up LOVING this book as much as myself and want more, check out Danielle Davis' blog for creative craft ideas that relate to the story. Enjoy!