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?"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?)
Kiddo: "It was weird."
Me: "Did you have a favorite part?"
Me: "Did you have a least favorite part?"
Me: "What did you think of the picture on the front?"
Kiddo: "It was weird."
Me: "Would you recommend this book to your friends?"
Me: "Why not?"
Kiddo: "Because it was weird."
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.
- Letters from a Hill Farm just discovered this book last year
- Becky (she of too many blogs to list here) includes lots of quotes in her review
* 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.