• The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

  • By: Barbara Robinson
  • Narrated by: C. J. Critt
  • Length: 1 hr and 52 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,468 ratings)

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever  By  cover art

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

By: Barbara Robinson
Narrated by: C. J. Critt
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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)

What listeners say about The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

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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.

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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.

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best Holiday audio ever!

I listened to “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” twice because it was so entertaining, and also I was listening while doing other things, and I knew I missed some fun.

This is a story of a small-town Christmas Pageant. As anyone from a small town knows, gossip runs the town and reputations are indelible. There is always at least one large family with an overwrought mother and wild children. In this case, that family is the Herdmans. There are six children, and each one is a holy terror in their own way. This story was written in 1972, which is the time I was growing up in a small town. I resonated with this story. I could insert 2 different families into this story, and it would have rung true. Author Barbara Robinson writes one of the cleverest home-spun story involving a some rambunctious children, and a mom who wants to make the best pageant ever.

The best part is there is an important message in the end. So, treat yourself to some Christmas joy. Either get the written work or the audio of Barbara Robinson’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. It’s 2 hours of pure joy.

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Favorite Piece of Christian Literature

I love this book. I listen to it ever year at Christmas time. C.J. Critt does one of the most perfect narration jobs I’ve ever heard. The subject matter really hits close to home. Written in 1972, it really is a commentary on how a middle class church of the time views it’s self and the poor in their community. I doubt the author was meaning for it to be a commentary, which, I think, makes it even read more true. And, though the language used to describe overweight people is outdated, and frankly mean, this is my favorite piece of Christian literature. I tear up every year, and there is a great lesson to be learned.

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Best!

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

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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.

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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!!!!!!

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A simple short story with a profound message and beautiful ending - great listen

Excellent short story of transformation and how harmful judgmental people can be a challenge - must listen

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A childhood favorite

My mom used to read this one to me and almost 20 years later it still holds up. Mery Christmas and happy listening!

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It’s engadeding

It should have no snotty taste whatsoever
But it was the first time that a woman was allowed in a public bathroom
🚽

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