book review

Book Review: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Title: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever 9780064402750

Author: Barbara Robinson

My Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads. Book Depository.

This book is one of my favourite Christmas books of all time – this year, I asked my Dad to record himself reading it out-loud and I have enjoyed listening to it this December. The story explores the family of the Herdman’s, a ragtag bunch of bully children, who invade a local christmas Nativity play. The result: a hilarious pageant, with lots of laughs, good feelings and fun.

Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts:

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a wonderful story about a Nativity play gone wrong, but somehow, it ends up going right. The Herdman’s are a family of horrible children and after a conversation with another child about their church having a good supper, they get involved in the local nativity play, much to everyone’s horror. While a lot appears to go wrong with the various characters, it is a great heartfelt story about accepting people in, despite the mess they will make.

What I love about this book is that while it is crazy and horrible to think of someone ruining the classic nativity play, it is awesome to see to being shaken up and then turning into something wonderful. There are so many good parts in this little book – I love that the Herdman’s have never heard of the Christmas story, and to hear their horror is pretty amazing. I love that they are intrigued by King Herod and want to know more so they go to the library to research him (to the horror of the local librarian). I also love that in the end, the narrators mother simply says “Stuff it, let’s do it,” and continues with the Herdman’s as Mary, Joseph, the angel Gabriel and the Wise Men.

It’s a great book to read and I definitely recommend it. There are so many great one-liners, lots of laughs and honestly, if you’re after something light and festive but also heartwarming, I definitely think you should check this one out.

Recommended for: Comedy lovers, and those after a quick Christmas read! Honestly, if you’re after a laugh, go for it!

Quotes:

“I’ve got the baby here,” Imogene barked at the Wise Men. “Don touch him! I named him Jesus.”

“The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed their teachers and took the name of the Lord in vain and set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s old broken-down toolhouse.”

“They looked like the people you see on the six o’clock news—refugees, sent to wait in some strange ugly place, with all their boxes and sacks around them. It suddenly occurred to me that this was just the way it must have been for the real Holy Family, stuck away in a barn by people who didn’t much care what happened to them. They couldn’t have been very neat and tidy either, but more like this Mary and Joseph.”


Buy it here.

Every year, I read this book at Christmas, and now with an audiobook of my very own, it will become an even better Christmas tradition. You should make this one of yours!

Until next time,

Maddy xx

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