Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hank the Cowdog reporting for duty!

A few weeks ago we received a package from Maverick Books, home of Hank the Cowdog. Maverick books was created and is owned by John R Erickson and is found online at http://www.hankthecowdog.com/. Inside the package was a CD of songs and stories from the book series, a cassette tape with clips from the audio recording of the “Tornado” episode, a book titled “Hank, the Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse”, and a game for children to play called “The Tornado Game.”

As we were on a long road trip to a friend’s house I popped the CD in the player and we began to listen. All of a sudden our van was filled with talking dogs and buzzards and cats, as well as the family that live on the farm where these talkative animals reside. The animals were loud and boisterous and my son loved the CD with all the different clips of what to look forward to in the future episodes he may get to listen to. He roared with laughter through some songs and others had a perplexed look on his face too. The fast talking pace of a few of the characters especially Hank at times, may have caused this look The CD is titled “Tales and Tunes from Hank the Cowdog” and sells for about $3.00.

Our next adventure was to listen to excerpts from the tape titled “Tornado”. This was a fairly accurate account of what would happen to any kind of animal or human being carried up into the centre of a funnel cloud and tossed about all over the place. Hank and Drover get carried by the tornado they were trying bark at, up into a tree on the neighbor’s farm at least 2 miles away from their home. The neighbor finally realized there were dogs in his tree, and we are left wondering how they are going to be rescued from their plight! Hank and Drover both probably looked very disheveled after that windy day!

I read the book about Hank’s adventure called “Hank, The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse” with a little bit of apprehension. After listening to the language on the tape and CD of the characters I was aware of some words like ‘stupid’ and ‘moron’ that were being used. This book builds up the case for the neighbor’s strange one-eyed horse Tuerto to come over to Hank and Drover’s farm and tried to attack two little girls that were visiting. Hank stood up to the horse and defended his territory as the ‘head of security’ on the ranch and had more than a few hurt limbs in the process. He was of course compensated for his bravery by Sallie Mae who took him into town to get bandaged up.

The final product we loved was the “Tornado” Game. This my sons thoroughly enjoyed. The pieces are very small to play with but great for little fingers. My son D loves this game and got his relatives to play it with him this last weekend. It has given us a few challenges in sportsmanship when he loses of course, but that is life. The object of the game is to get your Hank and Drover dogs and your Buzzard Junior into home after moving around the board without landing on a tornado square, or being sent home by an opponent landing on the same spot as you. This board game sells for $12.99 on the website and is definitely a fun one. It is in a neat self storing box easy to pack in a suitcase or hand luggage bag.

Each of the books in the series in paperback sells for $4.24 and hardback for $12.99. The audio CDs and tapes vary in price between $14.99 and $17.99. Packages of books, audio in CD or tape format are also available on the website. My son is 8 years old now and understands most of the content but I would say these books are for a reader of 9-10 years of age who can discern the content a little better.

We will be playing the Tornado game many times over after today and possibly venturing into more stories of Hank and Drover and Junior the Buzzard in the future months and years ahead. Swing on over to their website for some more information, or to the “Homeschool Crew” by clicking the link on the right column for some other reviews that other Crew members have entered there. Thanks.

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