Form and Content
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is the story of the year that the Herdmans took part in the town’s Christmas pageant. The book consists of seven short chapters, each smoothly written and easy to read. Although the illustrations are limited to a small number of black-and-white sketches, Barbara Robinson provides descriptions that create images in the reader’s mind. Most of the book is presented as a narrative, written in the first person by an anonymous twelve-year-old girl who relates conversationally the humorous stories and situations in which the Herdmans and their classmates become involved. Adults play a minor part in the story, being limited to teachers and the narrator’s parents. The viewpoint of the narrator is that of an observer who, in her words, is a medium kid who keeps her mouth shut. In this capacity, she is able to observe and report on the actions of the Herdmans and others without actually being a part of the story. While some bias from the narrator is obvious at the beginning of the story, as the Christmas pageant unfolds the narrator begins to examine some of her perceptions and to report with less bias. The story itself focuses on the actions and emotions of the characters, particularly the Herdmans, and does not attempt to teach the Christmas story.
This short, humorous piece of fiction is fast-paced and believable. From the first page, readers are drawn into the lives of the Herdmans as they set the toolhouse on fire,...
(The entire section is 550 words.)