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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (picture book edition) Hardcover – September 27, 2011
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-This beloved classic by Barbara Robinson (HarpCollins, 1972) about six very unruly children who teach a whole church about the true meaning of the birth of Christ is brought to life by the narrator, C. J. Critt. By using only her voice, she gives each character its own personality. With slight voice inflections and gentle changes in the pacing of the narration, she gives listeners a real understanding of the story. While the pacing of the narration is at times a little fast during the body of the text, the pauses at commas, periods and between paragraphs are longer than normally heard in general conversation. While this doesn't distract from the pleasure of just listening to the story, it will cause some problems if used as a read-a-long with older students. Due to the subject matter, public school libraries will find its uses limited. Since the book and the TV movie are so popular, public libraries will find a built in audience.
Ann West LaPrise, Detroit Public Library, MI
Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Imogene and the rest of her family [The Herdmans]
are the worst kids ever known.They are so bad the teachers dont even let them stay back a year in school.
So no one can believe it when they get mixed up with the church christ mas pageant.
As you can imagine this turns out to be ca hilarious story and you never know whats going tohappen next.A great book for ages 8 +.(melanie age 11)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorites from childhood, brought a lot more joy than I would have thought!Published 2 days ago by Usandsome
This is a very funny book! I am reading it because I am doing the play of this and I'm very excited about that!Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
I laughed so much reading this book. I could picture it in my minds eye. It was delightful.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is the first Herdsman book I've read, and I really enjoyed it. I wish I'd read it to my kids.Published 2 months ago by Mac Author Anonymous