The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
About the Author: (Inside Cover)
Barbara Robinson was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, and received her B.A. from Allegheny College. She has written several books for children, including the sequel to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever entitled The Best School Year Ever. Her short stories have frequently appeared in well-known women's magazines.
Summary: (Inside Cover)
The Herdmans are absolutely the worse kids in the history of the world.
Called one of America's favorite Christmas stories, and now a classic television movie, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever has been a favorite of young readers the world over since 1972. Funny, memorable, and outrageous, it is the story of a family of incorrigible children who discover the Christmas story for the first time and help everyone else rediscover its true meaning.
The Herdmans-Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys-are horrible. They awful things like lie and steal and smoke cigars. They threaten to stuff pussy willows down their enemies' ears and set fire to Fred Shoemaker's old tool house. They are the worst thing that ever happened to their school, and it's hardly surprising when they extend their reign of terror to the church and take over the annual Christmas pageant.
The Herdmans have never heard the Christmas story before, and their interpretation of the events, which includes beating up Herod and finding some decent gifts for the Wise Men to bring, promises disaster and has the whole town up in arms. But the Herdmans are no ordinary kids, and this year's Christmas pageant is full of surprises for everyone, especially the Herdmans themselves.
I'd Recommend to...
Grandparents/Parents to read to their Children
The Herdmans are just overall bad people. They can't do anything nice or right and always mess things up and make them disasters. At least, that's what the people of their town think. But when Charlie opens his mouth and mentions that they get refreshments at church, the Herdmans decide to check it out for themselves. Soon, it is time for the Christmas Play. The main roles are cast by who would like to volunteer for them, and only the Herdmans volunteer. The play is taken over and run by these creatures thought to be "the worst kids in the history of the world".
They have never heard the Christmas story before, and truly get into learning about it, and truly caring. At rehearsals, they never once managed to get through the entire play once, yet on the night of the play, it goes wonderfully with a few surprises that only seemed to make the experience more real.
This book proves that even the worst kids can turn out to be pure at heart; they just need the chance and to be taught how to behave. A touching story, this book had my grandmother in tears and in giggles pretty much the entire time.
I would suggest that each night at the bedside, parents or grandparents read a chapter or two to their child before they go to sleep, starting a week before Christmas Eve (there are seven chapters). It's a good book to do that with, and it creates family time that is needed in each family.