Barbara Robinson is the author of the hugely popular children’s novel, The Best Christmas Ever (Harper, 1972). The book, which fans consider to be a holiday classic, is an ALA Notable Children’s Book and received the Georgia Children’s Book Award, the Indiana’s Young Hoosier Book Award, and Minnesota’s Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award. In 2012, it was also included in School Library Journal’s Top Hundred Children’s Novels list.

Robinson wrote dozens of short stories for Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Redbook before publishing the short story “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” for McCall’s in 1971. This story of the Herdman kids, who were “the worst kids in the history of the world,” was such a success that Robinson expanded it into a novel. She then went on to write two sequels starring the Herdmans: The Best School Year Ever (Harper, 1994) and The Best Halloween Ever (HarperCollins, 2004). She also wrote My Brother Louis Measures Worms and other Louis Stories.

Robinson adaptation of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever premiered at the Seattle Children’s Theater in 1982. Since then it has been performed every Christmas at churches, in classrooms, and in professional and community theatres across the U.S. and Europe. ABC television produced a television movie of the story in 1983 starring Loretta Swit, for which Robinson wrote the screenplay. Robinson’s daughter Marjorie says, “My memory as a kid is coming into the house and seeing my mother standing at the island in the kitchen, typing away at her typewriter. To me, that was just Mom.” Barbara Robinson died in 2013 at the age of 85. She is survived by two daughters, Carolyn and Marjorie, and three grandchildren: Tomas, Marcos, and Lucas.

Some of the many book cover and poster designs for Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever