Niño Wrestles the World (Niño #1)

by Yuyi Morales (Author) Yuyi Morales (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Nino

Lucha Libre champion Nino has no trouble fending off monstrous opponents, but when his little sisters awaken from their naps, he is in for a no-holds-barred wrestling match that will truly test his skills.

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!

No opponent is too big a challenge for the cunning skills of Niño--popsicle eater, toy lover, somersault expert, and world champion lucha libre competitor!

A Neal Porter Book

Select format:

More books in the series - See All

Kirkus Reviews

Sure to be a smash.


Kids with multicultural classmates will recognize (or learn) Niño's many Spanish exclamations. A closing note explains the lucha libre culture. 

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Morales (Georgia in Hawaii) takes her theme from Mexican professional wrestling, and the resulting story is every bit as fun and campy as the theatrical fighting it's based on. The stars of "lucha libre," an afterword explains, wear masks that add to their mystery. Nino--"The Boy"--is ready for action in his red mask, sneakers, and underpants. The story rockets from cero to sesenta as Nino imagines taking on the scary demons and bad guys of Mexican lore and knocking them off, one after another, with his own trademark wrestling moves. He undoes the groaning Guanajuato Mummy with a Tickle Tackle, deceives the child-stealing Weeping Woman with decoy baby dolls, and is taken aback only by Las Hermanitas--his little sisters, who have just woken up from their nap. Truly eerie opponents, Spanish exclamations ("Zok!" "Pachatas!"), a bold design, and a lurid palette all contribute to the in-your-face style. Capsule profiles of the combatants on the endpages (Las Hermanitas' battle cry is "Constant and loud") only add to the entertainment. Vivan las luchas! Ages 4-8. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (June)

Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2--Playing alone in his room, Nino dons his Lucha Libre mask and lets his imagination take flight. (According to an endnote, Lucha Libre is a dramatic form of professional wrestling followed by fans in Mexico.) The young hero is then ready to take on an eclectic cast of monstrous opponents. Spurred on by chanting crowds, the boy handily defeats the Guanajuato Mummy (La Momia de Guanajuato), Olmec Head (Cabeza Olmeca), and the Weeping Woman (La Llorona), using a variety of clever strategies. Next up is El Extraterrestre and then El Chamuco. Nino remains undefeated until the dreadful hour arrives. Nap time is over and his baby sisters are ready to wrestle. Las Hermanitas will stop at nothing, and Nino soon realizes that it is better to join forces with them. Together, the siblings form a tag team, challenging all contenders. The fast-paced narrative is sprinkled with Spanish vocabulary and accompanied by energetic and vivid illustrations adorned with stars and rays of light that bring to mind stylishly designed event posters. In comic-book fashion, the bold portrayal of each match includes dialogue bubbles and sound effects printed in decorative fonts ("whunk," "bloop," "krunch"). The endpapers feature amusing profiles of the competitors. Captivated youngsters will cheer for Nino as he takes on each opponent in this action-packed story.--Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA

Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes


this book is so cool

nino is so funny

Yuyi Morales
Yuyi Morales is an artist who grew up in Mexico and now lives in Northern California.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date
August 25, 2015
BISAC categories
JUV051000 - Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
JUV013070 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Siblings
JUV052000 - Juvenile Fiction | Monsters
JUV011030 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Hispanic & Latino
JUV032160 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Wrestling
Library of Congress categories
Brothers and sisters
Charlotte Zolotow Award
Highly Commended 2014 - 2014
Pura Belpre Award
Winner 2014 - 2014
Golden Kite
Honor Book 2014 - 2014
Georgia Children's Book Award
Nominee 2015 - 2015

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!