On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love read to me this crowd-pleasing read-aloud!
I heart the Herdmans. Described by the young narrator of this book as “absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world,” they certainly know how to add laughs to a Christmas story. The annual Christmas pageant is a big deal, something the narrator looks forward to every year. But when the Herdmans decide to take part on the grounds that there will be free food involved, the success of this year’s pageant seems unlikely.
What follows is a laugh-outloud, non-stop romp of hijinx and near misses resulting in, as the title suggests, the best Christmas pageant ever. Everyone loves a show biz story, and community theatre is always a gold mine for conflict, humour, and triumph. Barbara Robinson plays for every single laugh and yet also manages to convey the true meaning of Christmas without an inch of schmaltz. After all, the Herdmans won’t stand for schmaltz. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a fantastic family or classroom read aloud that is sure to fill both kids and adults with lots of Christmas cheer.
Side note: In 1983, this book was turned into a fairly successful TV movie with the young Fairuza Balk, who also appeared as Dorothy in the wonderfully creepy Return to Oz.