From Goodreads: 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
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
Check back Thursday for a science activity even the Herdmans could get behind!