Wow! Unusual for so many reasons. I haven't seen a book like this convention-breaker in a long time, and not surprising that it's not from the US. I was amazed in the early pages when the kids at the boxing ring were pictured actually hitting each other. Jimmy's process of 'becoming' is an interesting one, because most of the pictures are spent on him doing everyday things while he trains. The 'message' of the book gets lost in a kind of Zen nowness, a tone that stays grounded.
There was an underlying tension brewing with the bald kid in the background, but they never made anything of it, which was really cool and restrained.
I thought the illustration style was interesting and didn't look at all like it was computer generated. I have heard computer illustrators say that their work takes just as long as if they were using conventional tools.