Tag: Mexican-Americans

Review: Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales

Nino wrestles the world

Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales

Everyone cheer for the incredible, the amazing Nino!  He is challenged to fight by wild opponents like The Guanajuato Mummy who is taken down by a tickle attack.  Next to challenge Nino is Olmec Head whose stony face is walloped by a Puzzle Muzzle move.  He has tricky moves to use on each one, taking one down at a time using all sorts of toys.  But finally, his real serious opponents arrive, Las Hermanitas!  Nino is going to have to use all of his wrestling and mental skills to beat these two little sister opponents.

Bold and colorful, this book evokes Lucha Libre, Mexican wrestling, right from the get go.  Morales celebrates this aspect of Mexican culture but puts her own child-friendly spin on it with wrestling different monsters using toys in Nino’s room.  She mixes the history of Lucha Libre masks with the actual monsters and the joy of a child who loves to wrestle any comers. 

The book nicely mixes Spanish and English and also switches fonts to further evoke the marquee effect of wrestling.  Add in the comic-book fonts for the various moves that Nino does and you have one very dynamic and inspired book.

This book shows everyone that books with multicultural characters can be wild fun to read!  Morales wins!  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: Round Is a Tortilla by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

round is a tortilla

Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by John Parra

Explore shapes with two young members of a Mexican-American family.  The book begins with circles as they are seen in nests, bells, and food.  Readers will also get to find squares, rectangles, triangles, ovals, and stars.  Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the book and engagingly explained within the context.  There is also a glossary at the end of the book to help.  This is an engaging look at shapes with a charming Mexican vibe.

Done in rhyming couplets, the book has a strong lilting rhythm and reads aloud easily.  The writing is strong and never suffers from the structure of the rhymes.  Thong invites us into their home where we are made to feel welcome throughout the book.  It is a warmly written book about shapes that has an additional dimension with the Spanish words.

Parra’s illustrations have a wonderful texture to them, often looking like traditional art and aging painted walls.  They add even more warmth and character to this already rich book.

This is an enjoyable and simple look at shapes and Spanish that invites the reader to learn and to try new words.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Chronicle Books.