Niño Wrestles the World

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 -

Ethnicity: Mexican/Mexican-American
Age: 4-10
Gender: boy
Socio-Economic: any
National: Mexico/USA

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

Book Review - Niño Wrestles the World

Guest Post - Que' Vivan Los Niños Luchadores

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?

  • 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?


Lydia McClanahan