There is a reason that I am posting this now that you’ll find out in my next post. However, this really was one of our favorite reviews and it is timely to post this right before Christmas when you are thinking about Christmas gifts. If you have never read a Hank The Cowdog book you are missing out. Even better, listen to one of the audio CD’s done by the author. They are hilarious! I could go on and I but then you wouldn’t read this classic review from . . . oh my . . . could it actually be six years ago? BTW, even after six years, Jacob still loves Hank the Cowdog!
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
Maverick Books - Hank the Cowdog!
Topic: Homeschool Product Review
When I first found out that I would get to review Hank the Cowdog, I was
really excited, but when I found out that we would be receiving not one but
three Hank items, I was ecstatic!
My introduction to these fantastic books was years ago when I was still
substitute teaching in the local public schools. I had gone into the school
library and found one of John Erickson's Hank books. The assistant librarian
immediately began to sing the praises of this series. She encouraged me to get
one of the books on tape to entertain the kids during a trip that we were about
to take. I checked one out of the library and we were not disappointed!
Hank considers himself "head of ranch security" for the large ranch that he,
Drover (his dog sidekick), Junior the buzzard and a host of other characters
live. Hank and his friends get into all kinds of trouble and adventures that
will leave you rolling with laughter. But, although they help, it isn't the cast
of characters that make the audio books so fun to listen to. What is it you ask?
I'll reveal that later!
Since I joined the TOS Homeschool Crew, we get, on average, about a package a
week containing homeschool items to review. Whenever one arrives it is like
Christmas, and everyone crowds around to see what is in the box. This was no
exception. We tore open the package and on top was Hank's "Tornado" game.
The subtitle for Tornado is "The Wildest Race and Chase Game Ever" and they
are right. Tornado is similar to Sorry or Aggravation but with a twist. Along
with moving Hank, Drover and Junior around the board and trying to reach home
without being landed on and sent back to start, you may end up on a tornado
space, which could send you flying anywhere. Based on the book "The Case of the
Swirling, Killer, Tornado", the game includes a tape with a 30 min. hilarious
segment from the book. I was a little concerned that the sending back part would
throw Joshua (our Asperger's child) into a tizzy, but I was pleasently surprised
that he took it all in stride and both he and his older brother, John Allen,
loved it. Little three year old, Jacob, even tried to play. Although he didn't
understand the strategy or really what was going on, he loved to spin the
spinner, and count how many spaces he was to move. It can also be played while
you travel, so the kids even played in the car! The game board folds shut and
all of the pieces are stored inside! It, along with the audio tape, can make for
some fun and wacky family nights!
Taking the game out of our "Christmas" box revealed our next great gift - "The Case of the One Eyed Killer Stud
Since Joshua was in the midst of another reading project, I handed this short
chapter book to John Allen. Now, let me tell you, John Allen has never
complained about reading. I can assign him to read a book, and he will read it,
usually without a problem. But, it takes a special book for him to want to pick
it up to read on his own instead of playing one of his favored video games. This
was one of those books! It's about an untamed stud horse who keeps escaping from
the neighbors field and finding it's way onto the ranch. As head of ranch
security, Hank, ends up saving the day, but not before some amusing events.
You'll have to read the book to find out about the poison bacon, Sally May's
"fundamental disagreement" with Hank, and what Hank is wearing when he confronts
the wild horse.
Now, although the boys love the Tornado game, and John Allen loved "The Case
of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse", the family favorite has to be the treasure
that we found at the bottom of the box...
...a CD titled "Tales and Tunes fron Hank
the Cowdog"! This recording contains story excerpts from ten of the Hank
books along with nine original songs. We brought this out to take with us on a
recent trip to Grandma's house and were, once again, entertained by the
selections. What makes the audio books so great you asked? John Erickson, the
author, reads the books himself, but gives each one of the characters a
hilariously funny voice. From, Pete the cat's "Paul Lynde" voice to Rip and
Snort's (coyotes) untamed, uneducated voices, they are all very entertaining and
fit the character to the T!
Mr. Erickson even sings all of the songs in the
character's voices. The excerpts include selections from such titles as "The
Case of the Swirling, Killer Tornado" and "The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud
Some of the song's are "Drover's Tornado Safety Song"-
Turn me loose, turn me loose, I'm as silly as a goose - for barking at a
thing that's bigger than a moose
and Rip and Snorts "We Don't Give a Hoot" -
We don't give a hoot - We don't ever wear a suit
Our personal favorite, however, has to be "I'm Trapped in Madagascar"
They left me here to rot and to be broiled by the sun, - But only if I'm
lucky and the pirates do not come.
The kids continue to beg to play the Tornado game and to listen to the CD.
John Allen has even asked for another Hank book to read. Hey, anything is better
than him playing video games all day!
These books would be great for reluctant readers. Better yet, you could even
have them read along while listening to the tape!
To find out more about these great products just press on any one of the
highlighted titles above, or here, and
you will go straight to the Hank Website. On their website, Hank's paperback
books range from $4.24 (for older editions) to $5.24 (for Hank's newer
adventures), the Tornado game is only $12.99 and the "Tales and Tunes" CD is
just $3.00. You'll also find deals on Hank the Cowdog plush items, t-shirts and
other Hank themed games. Have fun shopping, and happy reading.