Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Barbara Robinson

Summary: The Herdman kids lie, and steal, and smoke cigars (even the girls). They also talk dirty, cuss their teachers, and take the name of the Lord in vain. The last place anyone expects to see them is in a church. 

So no one is prepared when the Herdmans storm Sunday school and take over the annual Christmas pageant. Before anyone can stop them, they're plotting revenge on Herod, frightening the angels, and burping the baby Jesus. They've got the whole town up in arms. 

How the Herdmans turn a series of disasters into what everyone agrees is the best Christmas pageant ever, is a hilarious, touching, and unforgettable tale from a beloved storyteller. (Summary and image from goodreads.com)

Review: The Herdmans are the worst.  Lazy, liars, cheaters, thieves, master pranksters ... whenever they walk in, so does Fear.  Imagine everyone's fear, then, when the lot of them show up for the annual Christmas Pageant tryouts.  Intimidation tactics work wonders, and the Herdmans end up with all the key roles.  As you'd expect, Mayhem ensues.

This is a modern-day classic children's tale.  While the whole book deals with everyone's fear of the Herdmans and their reluctance to allow them to take part in this annual tradition, their simple, albeit naughty, pure hearts shine through.  So what if the Wise Men forego the traditional gold, frankincense, and myrrh for a ham?  It's the thought that counts, right?  And wait, what is that on Imogene's face?!  She's the worst of them all!

I have loved this book for years, and it's still one of my favorites.  Simple, funny, well-writtten, and a fast read ... this is the perfect bedtime story to pull out this time of year.

Merry Christmas.  And HEY! FEAR NOT!!

Rating: 4.5 stars

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