Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Having fun with Hank the Cowdog!

image Hank The Cowdog is brought to you by your friends at Maverick Books. We were introduced to Hank and his sidekick Drover a few months ago when we found his books at our local library. My kids fell in love with the audio version of the books. When I saw Maverick Books on our list of vendors for this year, I have to admit that I wasn’t aware that they were behind the Hank the Cowdog series. When I learned that I was going to be receiving this package from them I was so happy. Our family received book #8 in the series which is titled “The Case of the One Eyed Killer Studhorse”, the board game “Tornado” and a wonderful CD that has excerpts from 10 different books in the series. All of these items were created by John R. Erickson who is the author of the series.

imageWe read this book aloud and my kids (and my husband) really enjoyed it. Everything from the chapter titles to the songs are really funny. Our favorite chapter was Bacon Grease over Burned Toast Makes a Lousy Breakfast. Hank learned the hard way that eating a pile of bacon grease is not a good idea. His enemy, Pete the cat, taunts him into eating it and he ends up throwing up in Sally Mae’s shoes. Needless to say, neither one of them is happy about that. Hank redeems himself in the end by saving his two girls, Amy and Ashley, from Tuerto the one eyed killer stud horse. He ends up with a broken leg but gets to spend Thanksgiving in the house.

My kids favorite part of the book was when Amy and Ashley play dress up with Drover and Hank. They both end up in girl’s clothes and having their hair fixed. Purchase the book here to read the story for yourselves.

I do need to let you know that I had to stop reading several times to reinforce that we don’t call anyone names and there are a few inappropriate words. I suggest reading this yourself before you read aloud or let your child read to themselves. We feel the books are good enough to just explain this to your children. I feel like they are going to hear things that are not appropriate and when I read these aloud to them we can address these issues at that time.


The Tornado game ($12.99) was enjoyed by all of our family. We have played games with this general format (Trouble) so it was very easy to learn. Each player gets a Hank, Drover and a buzzard. Although the first time they played they completed the game, the second time they became bored and didn’t finish it. In this game the object is to be the first player to take your game pieces around the board and back to your home spaces. If a player lands on you, you get sent back home. My kids favorite thing about the game was the tornado space. When you land on this you either get to move forward or backward depending on the number you spin. They looked forward to landing on these spaces. It is also great because it can be closed and taken with you because all of the pieces store inside the game. Our dog had puppies the week we received this game and the kids named them Hank and Drover after this series. This is our “Hank” checking out the game. He’s thinks the buzzard is tasty.


The other item that we received was the CD Tales and Tunes from Hank the Cowdog. This CD includes 10 excerpts from ten of Hank’s stories. This was by far my kids favorite thing we received from Maverick Books. I had purchased this from the website a few months ago and we have listened to it at least 20 times. The songs are funny and the bits and pieces from the stories make you want to go get all of the books and read them right away.

There’s nothing like hearing your 6 year old daughter singing to imageherself in her room “It’s not smart to show your hiney to a bear”. A few of the titles are “I’m rich!, We don’t give a hoot, and I’m trapped in Madagascar.” As I mentioned before, some families might be offended by the “off color” name calling and remarks made in the songs; so if you think this might be a problem for you, listen by yourself first. Personally, I would much rather my kids listen to this than most of the stuff I hear on the television. This CD is well worth the price of $3.00 and can be purchased from the website.

Erickson is also the author of two young adult books titled Moonshiner’s Gold and Discovery at Flint Springs. His newest Hank adventure is #54 titled “The Case of the Dinosaur Birds”. It is $5.24 for the paperback version. I highly recommend the audio version which is available for $17.99. The voices and songs on the CD version are priceless. These are available on his website here. Our family will definitely be looking for more Hank the Cowdog to read as a family. We love them.

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