Señoras y Señores, put your hands together for the fantastic, spectacular, one of a kind . . . Niño!
Fwap! Slish! Bloop! Krunch! He takes down his competition in a single move!
opponent is too big a challenge for the cunning skills of Niño—popsicle
eater, toy lover, somersault expert, and world champion lucha libre
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
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