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Niño Wrestles the World (Golden Kite Honors) Hardcover – June 4, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3–The first spread of this appealing title says it all. With the simple text “Niño!” (Kid!), readers see a boy playing with his toys, including a lucha libre wrestling ring with masked wrestler toys. One by one, Niño faces and defeats his formidable opponents: The Mummy of Guanajuato, the stone Olmec Head, La Llorona, the Alien, and the devil-like El Chamuco. But when his little sisters wake up from their naps, he faces his biggest challenge yet: Las Hermanitas. Everything about this book is well integrated and thought out: The endpapers are decorated with baseball-card-style information on each of Niño's opponents, including phonetic spellings of their Spanish names. Spanish words and phrases appear throughout, but they are easily understood in context. An author's note gives some background information about lucha libre and its popularity in Mexico. This is a near-perfect book, and absolutely essential for any collection. α(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Senoritas y señors! In this corner of the playroom, we have an energetic little boy whose traditional, outlandish Mexican luchadore wrestling costume consists of a pair of underwear and a bright red lucha libre mask. And in the opposite corner, an assortment of “out-of-this-world contenders” ready to take our brave Niño down. Introduced via fact boxes on the endpapers, the villains are an intimidating bunch, but Niño prevails over each thanks to one of his signature moves: the Guanajuato Mummy (the Tickle Tackle!), Olmec Head (the Puzzle Muzzle!), the Weeping Woman (the Doll Decoy!), and so forth. Each single-spread bout is announced by a title card in Spanish and features a plethora of nonsensical action words to go along with Niño’s attacks: zok, slish, bloop, spak, and so on. Morales’ illustrations have just enough competing font styles and explosive-looking backgrounds to conjure the feel of an authentic lucha libre poster, and kids with multicultural classmates will recognize (or learn) Niño’s many Spanish exclamations. A closing note explains the lucha libre culture. Zzzwap! Preschool-Grade 1. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 260L (What's this?)
  • Series: Golden Kite Honors
  • Hardcover: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; First Edition edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596436042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596436046
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If there is any topic on the lips and minds of librarians, teachers, and other gatekeepers it is the state of multicultural literature for kids today. Seems a week can't go by without a new study or proposal to deal with the need for more books about kids of color being published today. Recently I discovered that while books for kids containing Latino characters are rare in and of themselves, imported children's books from Mexico are downright impossible to find. Most of the Spanish language books for kids you'll find are translations of American books or imports from Spain. It's what makes an author/artist like Yuyi Morales such a godsend. Not only are her books hilarious, cheeky, and beautiful all at once, but she brings a perspective that we simply do NOT see. Sure this book was originally published in America, but it has a take we can't get anywhere else. I've loved her books for years but Yuyi's latest, "Nino Wrestles the World"? My favorite. Nuff said.

Ladies and gentlemen, Senoras Y Senores, behold Nino, the greatest wrestler of our age. Sure, he may just look like a boy who put on a mask and stripped down to his underwear, but don't count him out. The biggest baddest contenders fall in his wake. Behold his defeat of the Guanajuato mummy or the terrifying La Llorona. Thrill to the fight between Nino and the Olmec Head or the mysterious Chamuco. Each and every one proves they are no match for Nino's talents. That is, until his little baby sisters wake up and it becomes clear who really is the champion wrestler in this family.

Now what I'm about to tell you is 100% true. For years I worked as a children's librarian in New York Public Library's main branch. Often we'd have class visits from kids all around the city (and from other countries as well).
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By AnaQ on September 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The art is in a matte format. I love Ms. Yuyi Morales's work. I have some of her other books that have a shiny or glossy finish and I like that format so much more than this matte format. But, that's OK. The art is great, colorful and silly. The story is great.
This is a rare find for my nephew whom is of mixed heritage. It is hard to find a good and fun children's book with a boy as a main character and especially a brown boy!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We checked this out of the library for our almost 4 year old son. For his birthday we pick one or two books from his year-long library selections that he appeared to enjoy the most. "Niño" was one of two winners for my son's birthday gift. I would say that this is my favorite books from Yuyi Morales. I am not a fan of wrestling but it has opened up a dialog about the lucha-libre type of wrestling and the characters/contenders that challenge Niño. This was his first introduction to La Llorona!
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As soon as you take a glimpse of the book cover, you know that Yuyi Morales is presenting you with a treat of pint-sized lucha. The colorful and mixed-media artwork and its wrestling match layout, capture the energy and enthusiasm of the characters and lucha libre itself. Written in English with a dash of Spanish words and onomatopoeias, readers are exposed to an action-packed picture book filled with elements of Mexican and other Spanish-speaking cultures.

¡Niño! ¡Niño! ¡Niño!” It is through this chant that we are introduced to Niño, a paleta eater, toy-loving, and acrobatic boy. Once Niño puts on his luchador mask, contenders such as La Momia de Guanajuato, La Llorona and Cabeza Olmeca, line up to challenge him. With his playful lucha style, Niño challenges his opponents with puzzles, dolls, marbles, popsicles and tickles, showing how Morales playfully incorporates childhood glee into this wonderful homage to lucha libre. At the end of the story we also meet Niño’s toddler sisters, who are mischievous and loud and drive Niño crazy! This is where Yuyi Morales uses the opportunity to capture and address siblings’ relationships, while showcasing the “best move” to defeat sibling rivalry.

I could not deny that it crossed my mind that Niño Wrestles the World, plays as a homage and retelling of the legacy of Mexican lucha icon, El Santo. Like El Santo, once Niño puts on his luchador mask, he never takes it off. Like El Santo, in his movies, Niño challenges the mummy of Guanajuato, the llorona, and aliens.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book. I read it to my class of 5-6 year olds and they really enjoyed it. The pictures, font, and artistic quality are amazing!

The book reads like a comic and it's fun if you're good at the Wrestling-Arena MC voice. Check it out, you wont be let down.
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Great cultural information! My 5-year-old daughter loves this book and loves trying out the Spanish words. This has been a struggle in our family, since I want her to enjoy language and speak Spanish. And she sees no societal impetus for speaking anything other than English. So, thank you, Yuyi Morales for making learning language exciting and fun!
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