- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (April 12, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0064402754
- ISBN-13: 978-0064402750
- Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (702 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Paperback – April 12, 2005
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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. --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.
"One of the best Christmas books ever."-- "Publishers Weekly"
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is such a heartwarming story. I loved reading it to my kids.Published 12 hours ago by J. Polliard
Touching story to remind people of faith what they may have forgotten.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
We read this aloud every December. Even as my kids have grown from toddlers to teenagers, we all still love it.Published 3 days ago by C.H.
A great warmup for Christmas reading to the family. Laughing is a plus with this book.Published 7 days ago by Graphic Designer
My daughter and I love this and The Best School Year Ever! Barbara Robinson writes so vividly and with such humor. We are constantly laughing out loud! Awesome!Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
I grew up watching the movie, but had never read the book before. After having it highly recommended by a friend, I bought it read it aloud to my family this Christmas season. Read morePublished 14 days ago by M. Gordon