Allison's Book Bag

Jimmy the Greatest by Jairo Buitrago

Posted on: March 5, 2013

Jimmy the Greatest is a simple and sweet story about small towns, poverty, and change. Based on the text and the illustrations, one learns that Jimmy is from a coastal town that is so small that it only has a church and a gym. One might guess that the story is about a Latin American town, when one learns that the author and illustrator of this imported picture book are both from Columbia. There is also the reference to an alligator being eaten for lunch, which should signal to most American children that they are reading about another culture. Otherwise, because the location is never named, the story remains universal.

The story is about a small poor town, the houses of which are spread far apart on the sandy coast. Its gym is a two-walled wooden structure with an adjacent boxing ring. Some of its citizens ride bicycles, many of them eat fish and fruit, and only a few of them have heard of Mohammed Ali. The gym figures largely in Jimmy’s life, who one days tells his mom he wants to become a boxer and that he’ll buy her a new icebox when he does. Boys especially will enjoy reading about Jimmy’s dream to become a boxer, even if he doesn’t have gloves and someone has stolen his shoes.

The story is also about change, which is captured in the detailed illustrations The first spread reveals villagers wearing Western clothes, one boy eating ice-cream, and men using nets to hunt fish. As Jimmy grows up and more villagers read, the number of boxing spectators grows in size and a library is built. By the final spread, some villagers have moved to big cities, the town has also grown and become more crowded, and utility poles dot the landscape. There still aren’t any elegant houses or fancy things, but villagers aren’t sitting around waiting to go somewhere else—and Jimmy plans to stay. What a wonderful message to instill in young people, that one’s home can be the greatest place on earth.

My rating? Bag it: Carry it with you. Make it a top priority to read.

How would you rate this book?

About these ads

2 Responses to "Jimmy the Greatest by Jairo Buitrago"

I probably wouldn’t have picked this up on my own. I look forward to reading it.

Hope you like it! Part of my blog for me is finding books that otherwise I might not have even known existed. Jimmy the Greatest is a gem I’m delighted to have read.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Allisons' Book Bag Logo

March: Award-Winners Featuring Disabilities

March month will be a little different! Because I have spring break, the first week I'll post daily teasers and the second week I'll post daily reviews. After that, I'll resume a normal schedule.

Selections are all related to disabilities and came from the Dolly Gray Award or from my local multicultural committee list. As usual, I'll also feature a review for our local dog club. Enjoy!

  • Laughing at my Nightmare by Shane Burcaw
  • Girls Like Us by Gail Giles
  • Gadget Girl by Suzanna Kamata
  • Rain Reign by Ann Martin
  • Say What You Will by Cammi McGovern
  • London Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
  • Curious Incident of the Dog by Mark Haddon
  • So Be It by Sarah Weeks



Thirty days. Minimum average of 1666 words per day. A total of 50,000 words. I am a NaNo Winner for two years in a row and my novel in its second version.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 221 other followers


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 221 other followers

%d bloggers like this: