With his sonorous voice and stately stature, wrestler, actor, and rapper John Cena has long been a commanding presence in multiple entertainment venues. Cena is the author, most recently, of the picture book Elbow Grease vs. Motozilla, a follow-up to his debut book, 2018’s Elbow Grease. That book, illustrated by Howard McWilliam (as is its sequel), introduced a small monster truck with four bigger brothers; he is determined to prove his guts and grit. In Cena’s new story, Elbow Grease’s supportive siblings roar to his side as he faces off against Motozilla, a ferocious monster machine.
On why he decided to write a picture book: I wanted to write something for the audience I reach through WWE—which is families and children. I wanted to create a story that would take the qualities and values I stand for and put them in a whimsical universe.
On what he wants kids and their parents to take away from his Elbow Grease stories: I’m stealing a page from my childhood and my adult life when I emphasize the importance of believing in yourself, teamwork, and never giving up.
On why he’s appearing at BookCon: I am passionate about these characters’ stories and their message. I hope people realize that my voice is authentic—and that I really care.
“John Cena Reads Elbow Grease” 10:45–11:15 a.m. // Family HQ
“John Cena: One on One” 2–3 p.m. // Main Stage