The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Book - 1972
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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.

Publisher: New York : Harper & Row, [1972]
Copyright Date: ©1972
ISBN: 9780064402750
Branch Call Number: J FIC Robin
Characteristics: 80 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

The Herdmans are, to their local town, the worst kids in the history of the world. Which is why it's so surprising when they get involved with the church and the annual Christmas Pageant. Will it be the worst Christmas Pageant Ever?!

From the critics

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Nov 22, 2019

If you just can't wait until your kid is old enough to read the original with you, then this summary will do. But, it doesn't hold a candle to the original. I'm sad that Hillsborough County Libraries don't have an actual hard copy of the original anywhere in the system! (I bought one for myself.)

Dec 17, 2018

This version is the PLAY, not the original book. I wish the description was a little clearer about that. I don't mind reading plays, but it is a bit cumbersome when reading stage direction at bedtime reading to small kids....

Dec 12, 2015

This was the illustrated, terribly dumbed down version of the chapter book I love and have read to my children many Christmas's past. The illustrations are cute and would be lovely to include in the full text version. This has had cut all of the meaning and interesting interactions with the Herdmans; it gives a flat run-through of what happened at certain times, then leaps to how a situation affected the characters, but not why it affected the characters. This is in effect a poor summary of the original story. The original book made me cry because it was so touching, this book made me cry because virtually all that was good has been removed, and children are being short-changed by this drivel.

Dec 24, 2014


ChristchurchLib Dec 26, 2012

"This picture book introduces the infamous Herdman clan, "the worst kids in the history of the world," to children not yet old enough to sit through a reading of the beloved 1972 novel, which was also adapted into a made-for-TV movie in 1983. For adults who may not know the story, we'll recap: the notorious Herdman siblings, after suddenly showing up for Sunday school near Christmas one year, take over all of the leading roles in the church's annual Christmas pageant - and the results are simultaneously disastrous, hysterically funny, and heartwarming." Picture Books December 2012 Newsletter

LDuke2012 Dec 23, 2012

Although I don't really practice Christianity anymore...I still love this book. My family had it when I was a kid and I would read it even during the summer because it is just such a fun read. Short and sassy. The Herdmans rock! Shazam!

This is a great book to read to children who don't know the birth of Christ story as well as Christian children because the pagent is explained.

I gave it 3 stars because I don't like the illustrations, but that is personal preference.

If a child can read chapter books, go for the unabridged version of this book. It is only 90 pages long.

LDuke2012 Dec 23, 2012

Although I don't really practice Christianity anymore...I still love this book. My family had it when I was a kid and I would read it even during the summer because it is just such a fun read. Short and sassy. The Herdmans rock! Shazam!

JewelMcLatchy Dec 29, 2011

I'd forgotten just how funny and touching this was until I read it again tonight. A great read-out-loud book for elementary school children or even young-at-heart adults too!

Rather_be_reading Dec 17, 2010

One of the best Christmas stories ever! The Herdmans (the worst kids in history of the world) will stay with you a long time.

Dec 18, 2009


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