“Hey! Unto you a child is born!” Meet the Herdmans—they lie, cheat, and love to give clonks on the head. They are, without a doubt, the worst kids in the history of the world. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant. None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Joseph, Mary, the baby Jesus—it’s all news to them. So they’re convinced that the Wise Men should bring pizza and that the Angel of the Lord is straight out of a comic book. Everyone worries that this year’s pageant will be horrible (just like the Herdmans!), but they are sure to make it the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever. Adapted from the beloved novel of the same name, this sparkling picture-book version is perfect for younger children. They will delight in the antics of the terrible Herdmans, who surprise everyone when they capture the true meaning of Christmas.
This picture book adaptation of a chapter book Christmas classic is a great way to introduce younger readers to a great story with a great lesson, even if the chapter book version is still far superior. I wasn’t in love with the illustrations personally, but their crazy messiness compliments the Herdmans and the havoc they wreak everywhere they go.
Barbara Robinson has written several popular books for children, including My Brother Louis Measures Worms, The Best School Year Ever, The Best Halloween Ever, and the enormously popular bestselling novel The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, first published in 1972, which was made into a classic TV movie. The play The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is produced annually in theaters, schools, and churches all over the world. Ms. Robinson has two daughters and three grandchildren.