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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tradition Questioned

This is a fun and unique look at a traditional Christmas Pageant turned upside down. Everyone learns a lesson about the hidden strength and talents of children who are often overlooked.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Christmas favorite!

I play this for my 4th graders every December. They are quickly taken in by the characters and the narration which is perfect for the style of the story - not too gentle or sweet. There are so many lessons throughout the story and especially at the end, the kids see Christmas in a different way - there is something new to learn for those who know the story well. There are a few references to kids smoking, drinking communion wine, cursing and sex (horror of horrors!) but I find if I don't make a big deal about it, they barely notice. It would be a shame to skip this story for a few inappropriate words. I have read it aloud in the past and rearranged a few words but this narration is so much better, the kids and I enjoy it more this way. The story of the birth of Jesus is told in an unconventional way, and is meant to appeal to kids who don't practice a Christian faith - one big lesson here is that's okay, not everyone does! You don't have to be Christian to understand and appreciate the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

one of the best Christmas stories

our family lovers this story. read it every year. children of all ages would enjoy along with the adults.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A fun book

I love this book I've been listening to it several times throughout the season and I've enjoyed it every time it's not too long and it's a fun book to read before Christmas

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Book was great, audio was fun

I've read this book several times since my dad first read it to me when I was 6 or 7. It is always fun to come back to over the years.

Christmas pagents are pretty standard and hard to screw up but I'd like to see a Herdman type pagent. It would be a nice change.

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Wonderful story!

Thank you, Barbara Robinson, for this sweet, funny story about the true reason we celebrate Christmas. The narrator was perfect! I recommend this short book to everyone!