Thursday, August 27, 2009

TOS Crew: Maverick Books- Hank the Cowdog

Recently, thanks to the Crew, my family and I were introduced to Hank the Cowdog.
Hank logo
Oh my goodness, I have laughed and laughed, listening to Hank and reading the book. We received the 8th book in John R. Erickson's Hank the Cowdog series, The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse; we also received Hank's Tornado game with a cassette tape, and the Tales and Tunes from Hank the Cowdog CD.

I've always tried to dive into the brains of the dogs I've had growing up and even with our last dog, just wondering what is going through their heads. I always used to make up what they were thinking, giving voices to their thoughts, trying to be funny.....well, this series does just that, and it is so hilarious! I especially love the Tales and Tunes from Hank the Cowdog CD that we got, because I can play it in the car on the way to Tae Kwon Do, choir practice, soccer, or wherever we are going. Warning, though: you might laugh so hard that you can't pay good attention to the road, or you might cause other drivers to wonder if you are "ok." LOL I found myself giggling and laughing out loud over the stories and songs because I could so see some of these things in my own life, even growing up. I especially appreciated the story of Hank and his run-in with Sally May, the rancher's wife.

Hank #8
Reading the book, Hank the Cowdog and the Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse, was a whole other story because Jacob and I could barely get through a chapter without laughing our heads off. He would start giggling at something, then I'd get going, and there was no stopping. Hank is just that funny! He gives life to dogs everywhere, and I have to say, that Erickson has a pretty good handle on what dogs do and how they act. I so appreciate his sense of humor. Growing up in the Ozarks, on a farm, the stories feel like home to me. In fact, I plan on introducing my dad to these stories at Christmas; he drives a truck, and I know that he would enjoy listening to them on the road.

Tornado game
The Tornado game we received was basically like a marbles board game, if you have ever played that. You have three character pieces, and you have to get them around the board to home before the other players. Jacob loved it; it's a small board, so it was awkward at times, but it is meant as a travel game, so the compact size could be easily slipped into a backpack or suitcase. The game came with a cassette that had parts of another Hank book, The Case of the Swirling Killer Tornado, but my tape player chose to quit on me that very night, so we could not listen to it.

There are 54 books in the Hank the Cowdog series, and there are audio CDs or cassettes as well. I love the fact that I could put a CD on and have Jacob follow along in his book if I chose to do so. That would give him practice with reading and recognizing words, which would be helpful for beginning readers. It would also speak to both visual and auditory learning styles. The books run $4.24-$5.24 for paperback; you can get both a book and CD for $19.99-$20.99; or you can get just the CD for $17.99. Right now, as a special for my readers, you can get the Tales and Tunes from Hank the Cowdog CD for just $3.00! You can listen to samples of it here. Trust me, you won't regret buying this CD because it will be something to turn to if you do, indeed, need a good laugh.

Now there is only one negative I would have to bring up. Some of the stories use words like "moron" or "stupid," but for me, it only served to make the stories that much more hilarious. My children are taught not to call other people names, but in the context of these stories, which is what they are, stories, I did not feel in the least bit offended or bad about reading these books to my kids or listening to the CD. We enjoyed this review thoroughly, and we plan on listening to and reading much more of Hank the Cowdog.

For more Crew reviews on this product, head on over to the TOS Crew Blog.


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