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Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas by Yuyi Morales. A Neal Porter Book / Roaring Brook Press, 2016

Niño’s back and this time he’s completely upstaged by las hermanitas—the lucha queens. In lucha libre there are two kinds of wrestlers—the Técnicos, those who play by the rules, and the Rudos, those who don’t. The toddler twins are definitely in the second category. First introduced at the end of the popular Niño Wrestles the World when they awakened from their nap, here the duo is wide awake and running the show. The genius here is that all the Rudas’ tactics are typical toddler behaviors. They defeat El Extraterrestre with the Poopy Bomb Blowout, and when the Olmec Head steps in to vanquish them with a diaper change, they go for the famous Nappy Freedom Break. They teethe on El Chamuco’s tail and then point to the Guanajuato Mummy as the culprit and, most hilariously, grab two of La Llorona’s children, saying “Gimme!” and “¡Mio!” In the end, only Niño can defeat them by employing a classic older sibling move—deflection. As with the first book, there is a playful blend of Spanish and English, and plenty to look at in the comic-style illustrations. (Ages 3–6)  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Try these early literacy activities with children:

  • Read: Some of the Spanish words from the book. What do these Spanish words mean. Talk about how people use different languages.
  • Talk: About what games you play with your brothers or sisters or friends. What do you like to pretend?
  • Sing: Make an instrument and then sing a song with it.
  • Write: Talk about the shape and style of speech bubbles and how the arrows point to which character is speaking. Have kids draw a character and a speech bubble with their own fun words.
  • Play: Play some classic “athletic” songs (The Final Countdown, Chariots of Fire, We Will Rock You, We are the Champions, etc.) and practice movements- marching, running in place, etc.
  • Math or Science: What kind of tools do the sisters use? How are they used? What tools do you use every day?

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