There are nearly 40 million Spanish speakers in the U.S. today, and Spanish as a second language is considered by some parents to be the cornerstone of an effective education. Maybe you agree with those parents, maybe you don’t, but everyone can agree that Niño Wrestles The World is an awesome kids’ book. The fact that it might teach your kid some Spanish in the meantime is just salsa.
The work of acclaimed children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales, who earlier this year received a Caldecott Award Honorable Mention for Viva Frida, Niño is a brightly-colored tale drawn in comic book style (replete with Batman-esque onomatopoeias) about a little boy in a Mexican wrestling mask who dismantles the creepiest villains of Mexican mythology with clever finishing moves, like when he takes down the Guanajuato Mummy with a tickle tackle.
The only time Niño flinches is when he’s challenged by “Las Hermanitas” — AKA his baby sisters who fight dirtier than their diapers. Each bout is introduced with a fight card reminiscent of a vintage wrestling poster and the whole book unfolds in play-by-play.
The fighters get their own baseball card-style profiles with explanations of the Mexican folk references and Spanish language pronunciations. So the next time your kid tries to pin you to the carpet, they’ll know to shout, ” Espanos planes!” and you can rest easy knowing they’ll do just fine in the coming global economy.