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Jimmy the Greatest!

Written by Jairo Buitrago

Illustrated by Rafael Yockteng

  • 52 Pages
  • 9781554982066
  • Reading age from 4 to 7
  • JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Caribbean & Latin America
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Sports & Recreation / General
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Social Situations / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance



Publication Date May 01, 2012

Listed as one of the Best Children's Books of 2012 by Kirkus, honored with the Horn Book Fanfare, and selected for the School Library Journal's 100 Magnificent Children's Books of 2012

Jimmy lives in a small town by the sea where there is just one tiny gym. The owner of the gym suggests that Jimmy start training, and to inspire him, he gives Jimmy a box full of books, as well as newspaper clippings about Muhammad Ali - "The Greatest." Jimmy is swept with admiration for Ali. He begins to read and run and box like crazy, even though someone at the gym has taken his shoes. And as he does so, he makes a great discovery: you don't have to leave home to be "the greatest."

Unlike many stories about emigration, Jairo Buitrago's simple, profound text is about someone who decides to stay in his small remote town in Latin America. Combined with Rafael Yockteng's humorous illustrations, this book will be especially appealing to boys and boxing aficionados.

The Spanish edition, ¡Jimmy, el más grande!, was recently nominated for one of "Los mejores libros del año" (Best Books of the Year) by Venezuela's Banco del Libro.

Selected for the Kirkus Best Children's Books 2012

Selected for the Horn Book Fanfare 2012

Selected for the School Library Journal's 100 Magnificent Children's Books of 2012 2012


Jairo Buitrago
Jairo Buitrago is a children's book author who has collaborated with Rafael Yockteng on several picture books. Together they won the "A la Orilla del Viento" contest (Mexico) and their books have been included on IBBY’s Honor List, in the White Ravens Catalogue (Germany) and on Banco del Libro's "Los mejores libros del año" / Best Books of the Year (Venezuela). He lives in Bogotá, Columbia.

Rafael Yockteng
Rafael Yockteng has illustrated a number of children's books, which have been published in Colombia and abroad. His images appear in Messengers of Rain / Mandaderos de la lluvia, an anthology of Latin American poetry, and Trees Are Hanging from the Sky / Los arboles estan colgando del cielo by Jorge Argueta. He lives in Bogotá, Colombia.


Star Review

"Eye-opening inspiration in this unassuming import from Colombia" Kirkus Book Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"This is a genuine, bighearted picture of life in a Third World village that neither romanticizes poverty nor evokes pity—and it packs a powerful punch." PW

""Jimmy the Greatest! is a compelling story containing many layers of significance and understated wisdom."" CM Magazine