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Review of Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas

morales_rudasstar2 Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas
by Yuyi Morales; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp.
10/16    978-1-62672-240-8    $17.99    g

This follow-up to Niño Wrestles the World (rev. 7/13) is brimming with action, humor, and heart. It’s técnicos (“‘Good guys’ who play by the rules”) vs. rudos (“‘Tough guys’ who bend or break the rules”) as Niño recounts a spirited wrestling rumpus with his misbehaving little sisters. As Niño tries to draw a storybook in peace, las hermanitas burst into his space — a page-turn transforming their big brother into a luchador, sporting sneakers, undies, and a signature mask. “Cracking down on their opponents with incredibly rude feats” such as the “Poopy Bomb Blowout,” las hermanitas cause a silly commotion and also disrupt Niño’s make-believe buddies, some from Mexican lore. After Niño outsmarts his sore-loser sisters, they wail until Niño shares the book he created, delicately offering an opportunity for a successful “seize and squeeze” and pulling them close to revisit the excitement they just experienced. Morales’s vibrant collages are filled with spongy textures and zigzags, reflecting the children’s boisterous fun. Varied typefaces (ranging from announcer-style all-caps to colorful comic-book sound effects) add to the chaos, while speech bubbles echo the narrative by featuring expressions in both English and Spanish. Extra details (for example, Niño’s name scribbled out with crayon markings and a toy block on top of the text) highlight the escapade as a product of the children’s imaginative play; a cuddle at the end illuminates the joys and complexities of big-siblinghood.

From the September/October 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Elisa Gall

Elisa Gall is the Youth Collection Development Librarian at the Deerfield Public Library in Illinois.

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