Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mom & Son Book Club #13: The Best Chrismas Pageant Ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
by Barbara Robinson
audiobook: 2 hours

*** About the Book ***

Every year the local church puts on the exact same Christmas pageant with the exact same costumes and the exact same actors ... the exact same everything. But when the 6 Herdman kids (who are simply the baddest kids in the whole wide world and don't even go to church - *gasp*!) end up playing the main parts in this year's pageant, things don't go the exact same way they have in the past ...

*** Why I Read It ***

I remember this story from years ago and wanted to share it with Kiddo this Christmas season. I checked it out from the library on audio so we could listen together as we drove to and from ice hockey, Cub Scouts, Irish step dance, etc.

*** Our Thoughts ***

I think this story is hilarious and heartwarming. It is one I remember from my own childhood.* It is fun and funny, amusing and touching, all at the same time. I really enjoyed listening to it and sharing it with Kiddo.

Kiddo enjoyed listening to it as well. I know this not because he told me so (he didn't) but because he was completely silent whenever it was on in the car - and THAT is quite unusual for Kiddo. Whenever we'd arrive someplace and need to turn the car off I'd ask him what he thought of it so far. "It's alright," he'd say in the most casual voice he could manage. "Just alright," I'd ask. "Yeah," he'd say. And that was the end of our conversations. But when we'd be back in the car and I'd ask if I should put on the show, he always said yes, and he always stayed quiet. THAT is saying something.

When the story finally finished, it was a time when Hubby was in the car with us as well. I was really excited to discuss the book with Kiddo but he wasn't having any of it. "It was weird," was all he'd say. Hmpf.

After a few leading questions failed to get him talking, I tried asking our usual Mom & Son book club questions.
Me: "Did you like it?"
Kiddo: "It was weird."
Me: "Did you have a favorite part?"
Kiddo: "No."
Me: "Did you have a least favorite part?"
Kiddo: "No."
Me: "What did you think of the picture on the front?"
Kiddo: "It was weird."
Me: "Would you recommend this book to your friends?"
Kiddo: "No."
Me: "Why not?"
Kiddo: "Because it was weird."
Ah, yes ... Kiddo ... the most verbal child in the world when he wants to be but push him on something and he clams right up. Don't you just LOVE stubborn, opinionated children? (You ARE sensing the sarcasm here, right?)

As I said above, I think that Kiddo did actually like this book - although you can't tell from his comments. We did eventually chat about the story and what the Herdman kids did that made the pageant unique. It was obvious that Kiddo had paid attention to every word of the story. I helped him to understand what it all meant and how it related to the meaning of Christmas, and he was quite verbal by that point.

*** Your Thoughts ***

I can't be the only whose Kiddo acts like this, right?! Please tell me about something that you've planned to do with your child that didn't turn out at all like you expected due to said child's attitude - I need to know I'm not alone!

Then you can check out these other reviews of the book - they are bound to put you in the Christmas spirit.

* I could have sworn that Adventures in Odyssey had done a version of this back when I was a kid but I can't find a link to it anywhere. If you haven't heard of Adventures in Odyssey before, it is a wonderful Christian radio program for kids. It started in 1987; I remember listening to the very first episode with my sister. Now Kiddo listens to it and loves it as well. You can find out more about it at this link and search for local stations that broadcast it at this link.


bermudaonion said...

Oh, you must be fast approaching the teen years. Kiddo sounds just like a teen-ager!

Julie P. said...

This book is one of my all-time favorite holiday reads. I started it last night with my kids.

Alyce said...

My kid is like that too. Some days I feel like an investigative reporter just trying to figure out how his day went at school.

I'm fond of this story because it was the first play I participated in in high school. I had two very minor roles, but it was a lot of fun.

amy said...

Yes! I loved this book when I was a kid. My mom read it to us every christmas until I was old enough to read it on my own. This brings back great memories.:)

Jen - devourer of books said...

Oh I *love* this book. I wonder why he was so stubborn about expressing his like for this book? Is the narrator a girl (I can't remember)? Maybe he liked it but thought it was a 'girl' book?

Heather J. said...

bermudaonion - Yeah, that's what I'm thinking ...

Julie - I hope your kids are more receptive than mine was. ;)

Alyce - Ah yes, investigative reporter is right!

amy - Gotta love those fun traditions :)

Jen - I don't think that's it b/c he chatted w/ me about IVY & BEAN and that is definitely a girlie book; I think he was just being a stinker. :/

Rebecca Reid said...

I liked this book as a kid too! You kiddo's reactions are quite amusing! How fun to listen to it together.

Darla D said...

Oh, I think he's just figured out how to push your buttons. I know my girls have! Thanks for reminding me of this one - I've been meaning to read this to them for a while, and now is the perfect time!

Heather J. said...

Rebecca - It was fun, despite his reactions. :)

Darla D - I think you've hit the nail on the head! I hope your girls enjoy it.

J.T. Oldfield said...

I read this one as a kid! The part that I always remembered being really funny was that the kids were mad that nothing bad ever happened to King Herod. I think they wanted him to be hung?

Heather J. said...

JT - You're right! They had a plan where the Wise Men would go back to Herod and "get him" - don't you love it?!

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