Start reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (The Herdmans series Book 1) on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (The Herdmans series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Barbara Robinson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (399 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $5.99
Kindle Price: $3.84
You Save: $2.15 (36%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Whispersync for Voice

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of $2.99 after you buy the Kindle book.

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Book Description

The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.

None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale -- the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating -- has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year's pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–6—Barbara Robinson's classic (Joanna Cotler, 1972) just gets better with this new reading. Elaine Stritch's slightly raspy, mature voice lends a convincing, grandmotherly element to this holiday favorite. The Herdman's—Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys—are the town bullies who steal and smoke cigars. When they show up for the church Christmas pageant try-outs, no one is able to discourage them from participating. To the protests of children who think they can do better, the Herdmans land the starring roles in the Christmas play. Their unique interpretation of a story they've never heard before surprises even the most regular of church-goers. A humorous retelling of the birth of Christ, this title will be a welcome addition to general listening holiday collections.—Kirsten Martindale, formerly Menomonie Public Library, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"One of the best Christmas books ever." -- -- Publishers Weekly

"[The book] had me laughing so hard I could hardly read. Don't miss this hilarious and touching book." -- -- The Boston Globe

Product Details

  • File Size: 468 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (February 22, 2011)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004CFA9EQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,023 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Christmas Book Ever July 11, 2002
Here's a simple, enchanting tale. It's warm and funny and thoroughly unpredictable. It's published in a short and skinny book in large type and, assuming you can tear yourself away from the story, it can be read in small spurts.
The Herdmans are absolutely and without question the worst kids "in the entire history of the world." They are guilty of evey unmentionable childhood crime and have thought of more than a few original ones. When they take over the church Christmas pageant (although none of them has ever attended church, much less heard the Christmas story before), the first Christmas becomes new and real in some pretty surprising ways.
Nevermind that the publishers call this a children's story. It isn't. The vision it has to offer is hilarious yet deeply touching in a profound yet innocent way.
Stock up on copies for Christmas gifts to teachers and friends. I'd give one to the friend who wails that Christmas has become too commercial or to the harried mother of a lively brood or to someone who dreads the holiday. And keep one for yourself because it's almost as much fun each time you read it.
Merry Christmas!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great joys of motherhood-- November 22, 2000
is the opportunity to revisit your childhood.
First, Dr. Suess, then The Saggy Baggy Elephant, and now the Herdmans.
I have loved reading since I was five years old. One of my most important goals is to pass that love of books on to my two daughters. I'm no expert, but sharing books that make me happy with them seems to be a good way to start.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a story about THOSE kids. You know--the ones you avoid sitting next to at Pizza Hut. The ones who show up at church once or twice a quarter, when someone brings them. The ones you feel sorry for but secretly compare to your own kids to make yourself feel good about how well-mannered, smart, attractive your kids are.
THOSE kids, the Herdmans, show us that Christmas isn't just about our own families and our safe, secure homes, but about THOSE kids--the unwanted, nasty, obnoxious, dirty kids with whom we don't want our kids associating.
The point of the story is that we should open our eyes and see them as Jesus saw the little children and open our heart to love even the barely lovable.
This story is one that will grow with your children. As they mature, you can help them get more and more out of this story. It's definitely a repeat from one holiday season to the next. I would recommend getting the hardback version so that it will last longer.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun for all ages! December 6, 1999
My Dad and his wife sent my family this book for Christmas one year, and I read it at bedtime to my 7 year old son and 9 year old daughter. Although we were only going to read a chapter every night, they begged me to keep reading, and I didn't want to stop, either. The Herdman children give us a fresh perspective on the traditional Christmas story, and show us that anyone can be touched by the true meaning of Christmas. A story that young and old can relate to, it made us all laugh and some of us cry. I plan to read this book every year,out loud. A wonderful, touching story. Only one word of warning - there are a handful of "naughty" words in this story, since the Herdman children are a bit rude. You can substitute something more suitable as you read to children, but don't pass by this great story because of it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best children's book I've ever read! March 2, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Library Binding
I didn't read this book until I was 32 years old and it made my day! I laughed so hard that I thought that I was going to hurt something. I loved the Herdmans because I grew up with a lot of kids like them. I now know why this is a classic that will continue on long after I'm gone. Ms. Robinson did a fantastic job of incorperating humor in many, many poignant moments. I laughed reading every page until the last two or three when the tears came. You couldn't help but be deeply touched by how, for a few brief moment, the Herdmans cleaned up their act to tell the wonderful story of Christmas in their own special way. I had the opportunity to spend a day with Ms. Robinson last year and let me tell you all, it was the experience of a lifetime. She's a fantastic lady who is absolutely incredible with children.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Christmas Book Ever. December 16, 2001
I've been collecting children's Christmas books for seventeen years, since my oldest child was a baby, adding a few more to the collection each year, but without a doubt this is the best one I have. I first read it when my oldest was six and I've re-read it every Christmas since, and not only have I never gotten tired of it, but I can't imagine Christmas without it.
The story is about a church Christmas pageant in which the Herdmans, the wildest, toughest kids in town, move in and take over the main parts. Mary smokes cigars. The Wise Men steal. And the Angel of the Lord is more likely to smack the shepherds in the teeth than bring good news. Everyone in the church is scandalized, of course, but trying to fit the totally unsuitable Herdmans into their Biblical roles makes for one hilarious story after another. When you can get an adult and a six year old laughing out lout at the same things, you know you've got a special children's book.
If all this book had was its humor, it would be a treat, but it is a lot more than that. Under all the great jokes is another more moving story. The Herdman kids are hearing the story of Jesus' birth for the first time, and their reactions Ñ shock that anyone would put a baby in a feeding trough, fury at Herod's attempt to kill the baby, amazement at the angel's miraculous appearance to the shepherds Ñ renew the meaning of the story for those of us who have heard it hundreds of times. Little by little they become more and more effected by the story and it changes them.
In the end, this is not just a funny book, but a powerful story of redemption. Through most of the book, I can't stop laughing, but by the end I am always reading through tears, even after having read it eleven times.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category