The year is 1960, and, as it is every year, the Christmas pageant at St. John's Episcopal Church, directed by Mrs. Elkins - who used to be in "The Theater" in New York, and who is tall and skinny, with hair the color of the orange part of a candy corn - is a very big deal. Doug is a shepherd this year, which is better than being a "Three King", because, for one thing, you get to carry a stick.
But there are problems everywhere. Doug's fellow shepherds are hacking around, which makes Mrs. Elkins yell at all of them; the girl he likes is playing Mary opposite a Joseph who is depressingly smart and athletic and cute; the family dog is doing very poorly, and they have no idea what they're going to tell Doug's little sister, Becky, who's playing one of the Host of Angels and who loves the dog more than anything; and his dad's just gotten a flat tire, which means they might not even get to the pageant at all.
But Christmas is a time of miracles. And for Doug and his family, this will be the most miraculous Christmas of all.
Dave Barry has been delighting readers for decades with his newspaper columns, nonfiction, novels for adults, and novels for children, but this book is something special: a story for all ages that will touch the heart and make you laugh out loud. And you may never look at a manger scene the same way again.
Need a laugh? Listen to more from Dave Barry.
©2006 Dave Barry; (P)2006 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., and Books on Tape. All rights reserved.
"Barry is a crowd pleaser and doesn't disappoint with this tale." (Publishers Weekly)
I bought this to listen to with my 5 year old daughter. I thought it was funny but she just didn't get the jokes.
Audible recommends this for children ages 7 and under but I think the humor is more appropriate for children ages 8 to 12.
This book is funny and well read, good for adults and older children.
I began listening to this story while I was swimming laps. It made me laugh out loud in the pool! Yes, this is an Audio Kids book BUT I really think anyone born in the 50s or 60s would just love it! I know that my kids (born in the 80s and 90s) would love it too! It is read by Dave Barry and sounds like a reminisce. With the sorts of incidents that happen to all kids nearing adolescence, it's genuinely funny. It is also thoroughly heart-warming and quite appropriate for the Christmas season. I might even listen to it every Christmas from now on! If you are a dog-lover or if you have ever been in a Christmas pageant, you will also enjoy this story.
My favorite character was Frank. You will have to listen to the story to discover who he is.
The narrator, who is the main character, was excellently performed by Dave Barry.
I laughed a lot and I nearly cried. But I MADE myself NOT cry. (This story was touching in both sad ways and happy ways.) Then, the ending was so nice that I didn't feel I had to cry anymore!
This should be listed for adults as well as kids! I am glad that I like Dave Barry and that it was Christmastime, so I took a chance on the story. Otherwise, I would have missed out on what will likely become a Christmas tradition for me in future holiday seasons!
Dave Barry deffinitly adds to the story, but I didn't read the book.
I liked that the parents didn't freak out with everything. And, that it ended on a good note. My favorite part was the boys giggling while waiting behind the stage, so typical.
Dave Barry infused the emotion of a boy about this boy's age.
This would be a great lite read for book clubs in December, also a good one for the family to listen to on a trip.
Our family listened to this book on the way to Portland, about a 1.5 hour trip. We loved it and hit repeat. Just as warning, there is a bit about boys announcing the girls on the bra list...but our 6 year old understood the teasing "boy" nature of this.
Great characters, we all have a "Mike".
I know everyone has a favorite, but this is mine. It evokes 1960, and the safe childhood enjoyed by many "baby-boomers' So it's nostalgic, religious and so funny I laugh out loud and always feel good after I hear it.
This is a good short story for all ages. I have listened to this book multiple times over the last couple of Christmases. It is full of nostalgia and family and love and so much humor. I recommend this to children and adults. It's nice to have when you're by yourself next to a warm fire with your cup of cocoa, or out side on a warm evening with a glass of iced tea. Or even traveling to grandmothers in the back of the station wagon with mom and dad up front. It doesn't matter what time of year it is that you listen to it, it just brings Christmas to your heart. So be prepared to be feeling warm and cozy inside
All the reviews talked about how touching and funny this story was. Well I admit I didn't make it but about half way. The story was adolescent but not funny and all the touching stuff must be at the end.
Very funny and touching story about Christmas and dogs and family
Reminds me alot of "The Christmas Story"
I have listened to this at Christmas time for three years in a row and can't wait to listen to it again. You will laugh. You will cry. You will love it. Read by the author who is fantastic!
We stopped listening a little way in with our 6 year old as we heard a part that intimated that the parents of the child in the story were fixing up a bike in the basement that was supposed to be from Santa Claus....
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