The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash

Book review by
Peter Lewis, Common Sense Media
The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash Book Poster Image
Raucous story of a wild school outing.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

The kids act like maniacs on the field trip and pay no consequences.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the kids suffer no consequences for their rotten behavior. The story's slapstick quality and the sharply drawn, waggish illustrations keep a read-aloud audience's interest.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 8 years old March 3, 2012


This is an awesome story! First a girl comes home telling her sister or mom about her fieldtrip. She said pigs got on the bus. Jimmy brought his pet boa. It sca... Continue reading

What's the story?

A class field trip to a farm turns into a broad comic episode when a student releases a boa constrictor in the hen house. Mayhem (and humor) increases page by page in Trinka Noble's raucous story of how not to conduct yourself on a school outing.


Is it any good?

Cause and effect gets spirited, comic treatment in this no-holds-barred romp. The cumulative story gathers energy as it steamrolls right through the poor old farm. Certain elements of the story are left curiously unresolved, though.

The children suffer no repercussions for their rotten behavior: They, and their teacher, simply hotfoot it from the farm, wreckage in their wake. Leaving Jimmy's boa constrictor could certainly be understood by some readers as abandonment, no matter how well the snake is subsequently treated. And the young narrator's blasé delivery of events to her mother is too uncaring, dampening the humor rather than heightening it by contrast. Steven Kellogg's artwork is like first aid for these hanging questions and distractions -- his watercolor washes soften the hysteria, and his pen work is detailed and affecting.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the kids' behavior. What's the funniest thing that ever happened on a field trip you went on? Do you think this class will be taken on another field trip anytime soon?

Book details

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate