The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Narrated by: C. J. Critt
Length: 1 hr and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (935 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The six Herdman children are “absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world”. They lie and steal and smoke cigars. They even burned down Fred Shoemaker’s old toolhouse. Now they’re taking over the Christmas pageant.

The Herdmans have never heard the Christmas story before, and they don’t know anything about shepherds or Wise Men. When Imogene hears about the swaddling clothes, she demands to know why anyone would tie up a baby and put him in a feedbox. Leroy, Claude, and Ollie are planning on a gift that means much more than gold, frankincense, and myrrh - the ham from their Christmas basket.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, now also a television movie, has been a favorite of children and their parents since 1972. As C.J. Critt’s spirited narration captures the lively and outrageous spin that the Herdmans put on the Nativity scene, listeners will delight in this unusual and refreshing interpretation of Christmas.

©1972 Barbara Robinson (P)1997 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Elaine Stritch shares all of it like the best small-town gossip, and the voices of kids and grown-ups alike are real and, more importantly, funny. Events reel out at a breakneck pace, but Stritch's narration stays steady and in control." ( AudioFile)
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Christmas Story -

Any additional comments?

I have both copies of this -- the narration by Elaine Stritch is better. It's my favorite of the two. If you're going to purchase one -- get that version. I love the story, love the sentiment. And it's pretty darn funny, too! It's an annual tradition at our house.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

This was one of my favorite stories from my childhood. The narrator did a wonderful job. It reminded me of story time when the librarian read to us.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best!

Our happy memories of reading this book every Christmas were thrilled when it came up on Audible!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Classic

I forgot how funny this is! I should reread it every year.

I had a lovely, concise review and am now just trying to fill the word count minimum.

1 person found this helpful

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My The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Review

If you in joy humor, than this is the book for you! This book is very funny!!!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Heart Warming and Fun!

I'm 70 years old and in all my days I never read a more irreverent, hilarious, charming, eye opening story about our Savior's birth!!!
I will forever see Christmas from the eyes of these children! Thank you! I can hardly waite to read the rest of Barbara Robinson's books! I'm still laughing and crying!!!

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Beautiful and hilarious Christmas story!

A must read at Christmas for every family. The most unlikely characters discover the real meaning of Christmas is this hilarious and heartwarming story. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Childhood and adulthood favorite

The humor is just as good as I remember it as a child. My kids and husband thought it hilarious too. Now, as an adult though, I am catching on to the humbling reality of our pride and comfort/familiarity we have with the Christmas story. It is indeed wonderful and to see it through the Herdman's eyes has been a humbling and sobering experience. It also gave me a great opportunity to point out to my kids, that "unchurched" people who might do things/say things we don't as Christian's should not be ostracized but need to be lovingly taught and told the gospel. Not judged and looked down on. It's become a new adulthood favorite as I laughed and choked back tears.

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The Horrible Herdmans make me smile

I first heard this story in church. Our pastor told the (abbreviated) story in church one morning as his sermon and I was hooked. Several years ago, a TV movie starring Loretta Swit was made from this book and it was just as charming as the book is. This should be on everyone's list to read at Christmas time.

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Childhood memories

I’m 38 and my mom would read this book to me and my twin sister every Christmas season. I now get to give the same memories to my own children now. It truly is the best book ever at Christmas time.