Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales
Yuyi Morales brings to life the vibrant world of Lucha Libre through the imagination of Nino, the boy luchador hero! Nino is skilled at somersaults, eating popsicles and playing with his baby sisters. His wrestling moves however, are most superb and help him to defeat, La Momia de Guanajuato, La Llorona, Cabeza Olmeca, El Extraterrestre and El Chamuco, his other worldly opponents. The wrestling match layout, complete with the onomatopoeia of Nino’s skilled moves helps to create the energy of an actual Lucha Libre match.
Genre - fiction
Text Structure - picture book
Lexile Level - 260L
Themes - Lucha Libre, playtime, imagination, Mexican/Mexican American heritage, siblings, self confidence
Rings of Culture represented -
Why it’s VABBulous -
Surface culture elements easily identified - dress, language, games, celebrations
Morales illustrations vibrantly and authentically depict home/family culture, ethnic culture, age culture
Authentic nuanced examples of unspoken cultural rules/norms represented in the text as well as illustrations.
Concept of self, tolerance of physical pain, body language, non-verbal communication, rules of conduct, notions of leadership, preferences for competition or cooperation
For two in depth reviews on the cultural significance(VABBulousness) of this text see - Latinxs in Kid Lit or click on the links below
Ideas for CLR -
Set it Off (Into the Text)
Prompt - What is your favorite game/thing to play (other than video games) when you are at home?
Turn & Talk + Shout Out
Show images of various Lucha Libre masks and ask students to share an adjective to describe the masks or which mask they like the best.
The Get Down (Through the Text)
Read Aloud - Teacher Read Aloud + Echo Read
Teacher reads the text aloud with students and has students echo read(repeat in unison) certain portions e.g. the words in Spanish or the Onomatopoeia
I gave this a 7-10 on Responsive Dots. What would you give it?