Jimmy the Greatest!

Jimmy the Greatest!

Book - 2012
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Jimmy lives in a small Caribbean town where there's not a whole lot to do. Fortunately though, there is a boxing gym, and one day the owner, Don Apolinar, suggests that Jimmy start training. He also gives Jimmy a cardboard box full of books and newspaper clippings all about Muhammad Ali. Jimmy reads and re-reads as he never has before. He is swept with admiration for Ali who said, "I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was." He starts to feel good, realizing that he doesn't need to have a lot of fancy stuff, that he's a pretty good boxer himself, and that he can look forward to the future. But by the time Don Apolinar has to leave for the big city, Jimmy realizes that he can have a great life running the gym, creating a library, dancing and boxing . . . right where he is.

Jairo Buitrago's simple yet inspiring story is complemented by Rafael Yockteng's funny, expressive illustrations, making this a book that will speak to many young readers.

The Spanish edition, #65533;Jimmy, el m#65533;s grande! , was recently named one of "Los mejores libros del a#65533;o" (Best Books of the Year) by Venezuela's Banco del Libro.
Publisher: Toronto : Groundwood Books, 2012.
ISBN: 9781554981786
Branch Call Number: BUI
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 22 x 24 cm


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ChristchurchLib Nov 28, 2012

Originally published in Colombia, this "poignant, funny" and "bighearted" (Publishers Weekly) book tells the story of Jimmy, a boy who lives in a poor fishing village and is encouraged to take up boxing by Don Apolinar, the owner of the local gym. Inspired by Don Apolinar's old newspaper clippings about Muhammad Ali, Jimmy trains hard and does learn how to box...but he doesn't leave his hometown for the big city like Don Apolinar eventually does. With an unusual ending that affirms the importance of community, Jimmy the Greatest! is an unforgettable book that gets better with repeat readings

Picture books November 2012 newsletterhttp://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=574049

MB9 Aug 14, 2012

This is a beautifully illustrated, well-crafted book with an unusal, interesting, and touching story. I have no idea who the core audience would be for it- preteen boxing enthusiasts who like simple picture books? Highly recommended. Not sure to whom, but highly recommended.


With a careful hand author/illustrator pair Jairo Buitrago and Rafael Yockteng have created a book that is an ode to the people who stay in small communities, helping and improving the daily lives of their friends and neighbors. This is a story that folks can relate to, no matter where they live. It’s a paean to the heroes of small town life. Unsung heroes, I have located your book.

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MB9 Aug 14, 2012

MB9 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 5 and 8


ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 8


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Jimmy’s fishing village is not particularly big or impressive since “there is usually only one small church and, if you’re lucky, a little gym where you can hit a punching bag, skip rope or box.” Boxing is precisely what Jimmy and all the other kids in the village spend a lot of their time doing, until one day Don Apolinar (who runs the gym) gives Jimmy a box containing books, magazines, and information about a guy named Muhammad Ali. Suddenly Jimmy starts using those glasses he never paid much attention to before and he’s reading everything he can get his hands on. In time, Don Apolinar leaves the village for the big city, but that’s okay. Jimmy stays behind, opening a little library and improving the boxing ring, and making the village a better place.


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“I’m the champ. Only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick, wrestled an alligator and got home in time to make lunch for Gramps.”


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