December 2017

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

by Barbara Robinson

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.

A Note from the First Lady

Dear Read20 Book Club families,

The Christmas Story is one of my favorite stories, and this comical spin on the classic brings an extra twist of joy to the holiday season. You will be amused, horrified, and finally, warmed by the crazy Herdman clan and their antics as they take over the town’s annual Christmas pageant.

Author Barbara Robinson shocks us all as the wild Herdman siblings turn this cherished holiday tradition into what originally seems like the worst experience, but might just turn out to be The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. December is an extra special time of year to spend with family, friends and loved ones so I hope you’ll cuddle up and enjoy this story together.

Keep up the great reading!



Fun Family Activities

Traditions: The annual Christmas pageant at the church is a holiday tradition for the Bradley family and many others in the community. A tradition is a repetition of some activity, custom or belief that helps pass information down from one generation to the next. What are some holiday traditions your family, school, church, or community partake in each year? If you could start a new tradition, what would it be?

Respecting your neighbors: The Herdmans are a rambunctious bunch of siblings. Some of the things that they do are funny or silly, but most of the actions of the Herdmans are dangerous, aggressive, and mean-spirited. What would you do or say to a bully in order to stop their hurtful and offensive behaviors? How do you think that the Herdman children changed after being part of the Christmas pageant? Do you think their participation might have changed the other kids in the community as well? How and why?  

Giving in Action: While it is always important to practice kindness and generosity, we especially want to make time for giving during the holiday season. What are some ways you can give of your time, talents or efforts to someone in need? Maybe you will want to volunteer with your family at a soup kitchen. Maybe you can write holiday cards for soldiers. Maybe you might like to be on your best and kindest behavior for your parents and siblings! You can research some awesome service projects and ideas here and here. Brainstorm what you can do and choose at least one way to carry out this season of giving!

Further Reading: If you enjoyed this book, there are several more stories by author Barbara Robinson, including My Brother Louis Measures Worms, The Best School Year Ever and The Best Halloween Ever. Visit your local library to check out these and other fun stories to read this holiday season.