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LI kids talk to John Cena about his new book, "Elbow Grease"

John Cena with Kidsday reporters from left, Kader

John Cena with Kidsday reporters from left, Kader Kane, Quilla Banks, Lavel France, and Kimberly Lugo in Manhattan.  Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

John Cena is known around the world through many different roles. Before interviewing John, we knew him as an actor, a host for Nickelodeon's "Kids' Choice Awards", a Make-A-Wish Foundation partner, a guest on "Lip Sync Battle", and most notably a "WWE Superstars" wrestler. From what we have read and seen on TV about John, he is always a role model for kids.  

Most recently, John has added author to his list of talents. We learned so much more about John Cena, the author, after reading his book, “Elbow Grease,” (Random House Books for Young Readers) from his new children’s book series.  He enjoys writing books that teach and entertain.  His book teaches readers to never give up and persevere through hard times, just like the main character, a monster truck named Elbow Grease. What we noticed about John as an author is that he is leading kids to a better future by creating characters who teach readers about having core values.  He inspires kids to do more.

Throughout the book, Elbow Grease never gave up.  In the beginning Elbow Grease wasn't as good at racing as his brothers but he didn't let that get to him, and he participated in the race anyway.  He knew that as long as he tried his best, winning or losing didn't matter.  As he stuck to the course, Elbow Grease said, “Keep going, keep trying.” We learned that you always need to try new things, even hard things. You might not be good at everything right away.  John Cena is basically Elbow Grease: They are “Never Give Up” superheroes.

Not only did we get to read and review John’s new awesome book, but we also got the special opportunity to meet and interview him.  We asked John why he wrote his book. He said he wanted to write something that teaches kids a lesson but lets them have fun at the same time. He said he wrote a fun story that teaches kids to never give up. He wanted to give a good lesson for children.  

Since he is a special athlete, we asked him what his favorite food is. He said his favorite food is vegetables, but he also loves pizza, ice cream, and his all-time favorite food is pancakes.

We asked what inspired him to do his in-ring celebration (You can’t see me!)?  John Cena said his little brother inspired him. He said they were listening to music and his little brother was doing a dance with his hand in front of his face, kind of like the “you can’t see me” dance.  Then his brother dared him to do it on television and he said he would and he did it!

John told us about the names of the characters in his new book. He said he wanted to name them based on what they were like. Flash is fast and Pinball is smart. Tank is big and strong and Elbow Grease is small but always tries hard. Crash is loud and crashes into things.

We asked him who his hero is in real life. He said people who enjoy their lives and live life to the fullest, but he also added his mom -- he said she is his hero.  She was strong and took care of five boys.

This was the best day of our lives so far. None of us had ever met a celebrity before.  It was so cool and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  He was so nice.  He was a very good listener.  He let us all tell him some jokes too.  We took pictures, did the “You can’t see me!” dance and got his new book and autograph. He even signed our interview questions!

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