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The Best Christmas Pagent Ever book cover

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

About the Book:
Called one of America’s favorite Christmas stories, and now a classic television movie, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” has been a favorite of young readers the world over since 1972. Funny, memorable, and outrageous, it is the story of a family of incorrigible children who discover the Christmas story for the first time and help everyoone else rediscover its true meaning.

My Two Cents: This is the oldest book I’ve reviewed so far and also the shortest, and I think both work in its favor. Christmas is a time when we love tradition, and this is a book I remember from my childhood that still feels timeless. It’s a quick story (108 very small pages in my edition) that parents or teachers could read to their kids (or kids could read on their own) in just a few days. It’s irreverent and funny, but it also teaches some important ideas–of acceptance, inclusion, and love rather than judgement.

Grade Level: 2-6

Additional Resources:

  • Barbara Robinson’s website
  • The script of the play, also written by Barbara Robinson (which should not be performed without consent from the publisher.)
  • A fun Herdman decoding activity from Harper Collins
  • More teacher resources from Squidoo, including vocabulary words and class activities
  • Sites where kids can get into the holiday spirit by helping others:
    • PBS kids ZOOM A list of ways kids can help, with resources, ideas, and inspiring stories for each.
    • Kids Can Make a Difference An educational program for middle- and high school students, focuses on the root causes of hunger and poverty, the people most affected, solutions, and how students can help.

More to Read: 

  • Another timeless Christmas tale that’s timeless and relatively short (especially considering who wrote it): A Christmas Carol  by Charles Dickens
  • Another story about seeing beneath and beyond society’s judgement of somebody: When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt
  • Another book with an imperfect Christmas that features kids on stage: Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

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