Cover image for The best Christmas pageant ever
Title:
The best Christmas pageant ever
Author:
Robinson, Barbara.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : HarperCollins, [1972]

©1972
Physical Description:
89 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Summary:
The six mean Herdman kids lie, steal, smoke cigars (even the girls) and then become involved in the community Christmas pageant.
General Note:
"A short version of this book appeared in McCall's magazine under the title The Christmas pageant."
Language:
English
Reading Level:
930 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.1 2.0 253.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.1 5 Quiz: 01134.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780060250430
Format :
Book

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FICTION Juvenile Fiction Holiday
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Summary

Summary

Laughs abound in this bestselling Christmas classic by Barbara Robinson! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever follows the outrageous shenanigans of the Herdman siblings, or "the worst kids in the history of the world." The siblings take over the annual Christmas pageant in a hilarious yet heartwarming tale involving the Three Wise Men, a ham, scared shepherds, and six rowdy kids.

Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys Herdman are an awful bunch. They set fire to Fred Shoemaker's toolshed, blackmailed Wanda Pierce to get her charm bracelet, and smacked Alice Wendelken across the head. And that's just the start! When the Herdmans show up at church for the free snacks and suddenly take over the Christmas pageant, the other kids are shocked. It's obvious that they're up to no good. But Christmas magic is all around and the Herdmans, who have never heard the Christmas story before, start to reimagine it in their own way.

This year's pageant is definitely like no other, but maybe that's exactly what makes it so special.


Author Notes

Barbara Robinson was born in Portsmouth, Ohio on October 24, 1927. She graduated from Allegheny College in 1948. She wrote more than 40 short stories for newspapers and magazines, including McCall's and Ladies' Home Journal. She published her first children's book, Across from Indian Shore, in 1962. Her most popular work, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, was published in 1972. She adapted the book for both the stage and for television in the 1980s. Her other works include The Best School Year Ever, The Best Halloween Ever, and Temporary Times, Temporary Places. She died on July 9, 2013 at the age of 85.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The "worst kids in the history of the world" are laugh-out-loud outrageous in this rollicking picture-book adaptation of Robinson's 1972 novel. Cornell's (My Mommy Hung the Moon) humorous, energetic illustrations highlight the incorrigible Herdman siblings' naughtiness, as they're pictured acting out well beyond the shenanigans chronicled in the punchy text. At Sunday school, they "stole all the money out of the collection plate," and the fact that they don't know the Nativity story "didn't stop them from picking out the best parts for themselves." As in the original version, they steal the show, providing a satisfying primer for kids not yet ready for Robinson's longer holiday treat. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-The infamous Christmas pageant scene from Robinson's chapter book of the same name (HarperCollins, 1972) has been condensed quite successfully into a picture book. Readers are introduced to the six Herdmans, "the worst kids in the history of the world." They lie, steal, and play with matches ".and when they didn't have anything else to do, they would bang the garage door up and down and try to squash each other." When they take over the annual Christmas pageant, everyone is horrified but, of course, the Herdmans bring a chaotic sincerity and authenticity to the evening that is truly moving. Cornell's trademark pen-and-ink and watercolor drawings capture the skinny-legged, scraggly-haired, snaggle-toothed Herdmans to a tee.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

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. "Wiry-tough, tender-hearted, unsentimental, and consistently funny." --The London Sunday Times "The book is outrageous, lively, funny, and wonderful. The Christmas story takes on a strangely moving depth of meaning and shines through with a new brilliance." --Denver Post Barbara Robinson has written many popular books for children, including The Best Halloween Ever, The Best School Year Ever, and My Brother Louis Measures Wormsand Other Louis Stories. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is an ALA Notable Children's Book and was filmed as a television movie. Elaine Stritch, a superlative dramatic actress, won a Tony® Award for her one-woman show, Elaine Stritch, At Liberty. A four-time Tony® nominee, she has starred in numerous plays and musicals including Bus Stop, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Company, and A Delicate Balance. She received a Grammy nomination for her recording of The Best Halloween Ever. Excerpted from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.