Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Niño Wrestles the World

When two of my nephews were around six and seven nothing delighted them more than tuning in to Thursday night's wrestling shows. Naturally, they refused any adult's attempt to inform them that the performances were fake. When I read this page-turning picture book, I thought of them (now young adults) and how much they would have enjoyed it.

The niño of this title sports a pair of tighty whities and not much else. Using his way too active imagination, he casts himself as a luchadore, a professional wrestler popular in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries. Niño's opponents are nothing to sneeze at. What I liked best about this book was Morales' depiction of these truly scary characters. There's La Momia de Guanajuato, a zombie-like creature; Cabeza Olmeca, an ancient stone-head sculpture; La Llorona, a ghost, El Extraterrestre, a space alien; and El Chamuco, the devil himself. Niño creatively dispatches his opponents with ease--until, that is, he faces his most fearsome match. Las Hermanitas, his twin sisters, wake from their nap and gleefully attack their big brother.

The bold art offers surprises on every page and the graphic text adds to the excitement. An informative end note explains lucha libre, Mexican professional wrestling, in greater detail. Great fun!

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