Saturday, July 25, 2009

TOS Crew Review: Hank the Cowdog

I can't tell you how excited I was when I learned that The Crew was going to get to review products from Maverick Books! We love Hank the Cowdog! Long before there was a Crew and long before my blog had gained momentum, I had a sidebar item just for Hank and his website. I've even done blog posts on, "Hank the Cowdog Quotes".

The publisher sent us several items- a game, a book, and a CD. Wouldn't you know it, we have two Hank books of our own and The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse is one of them. We've been reading aloud Hank books for years. I think it is great fun to read Hank to the kids as it usually results in lots of laughter! Hank is a bumbling ranch cowdog not unlike a Barney Fife of the ranch world. He is not the most noble character and he often finds himself in jams because of his poor decisions. He likes to hurl insults (which may be controversial to some), but Hank is never held up as a good example to follow. The cast of characters includes his side kick Drover who has a chronic leg problem that crops up just when the circumstances warrant his exit. There is Slim Chance the ranch hand who gets into trouble along with Hank. Sally May and High Loper, the married couple who own the ranch, get easily irritated with Hank's antics. Sally May and Hank have a very tenious relationship at best.

Each Hank paperback is sold for $4.24 on the Hank site, but they are also available at bookstores and on Amazon.
How can you go wrong with dialogue like this?

You might recall that only hours before, High Loper had told Sally May about the neighbor's one-lawed out-eyed stud horse - that is, one-eyed outlawed stud horse, a heartless brute named Tuerto.
I had forgotten the conversation myself, else I might not have been so anxious to answer the call and enter the case. For you see, the mysterious whinny had come, not from your ordinary arrogant, cheating, back-stabbing saddle horse, which would have been bad enough- but from the infamous one-eyed killer, Tuerto.

We also got to play the Tornado Game. The game is plastic and folds in half making it convenient for traveling. It has a tornado spinner and the characters and elements are from the book The Case of the Swirling Killer Tornado. Each player chooses a color and has a Hank, a Drover, and a Junior (the young turkey vulture). The game plays like Trouble with a few twists (pun intended). Odd spins move backward and the Junior character is not with the others of the same color to start. The dogs start on 1 and 6 and the turkey vulture can start on a 6 only. With only three tokens, the game plays fast and younger and older kids can play together.

The game also comes with a cassette which has excerpts from the book The Case of the Swirling Killer Tornado. The songs and excerpts I'm sure are very fun, but we don't have a decent working tape player on which to play the cassette. At some point, perhaps they will include a CD- when the cassettes run out! The Tornado Game sells for $12.99 on the Hank website.

Finally, we have Tales and Tunes from Hank. It's a CD for $3.00 with some story excerpts and songs from 10 books. There are a few audio books we've listened to in addition to reading the book and what's so nice about those is the actual song you can hear sung by the author. These songs are usually hilarious and reading them aloud you don't always get the most out of the humor!
If you decide to venture into the world of Hank the Cowdog, make sure your're ready to laugh...and make sure you try out some of the audio books. If you buy the Tornado Game, you can get a $2.00 coupon off of an audio book purchase. We always add a few of these to birthday and Christmas presents. Our personal favorite song comes from The Watermelon Patch Mystery available only in an audio book. The Watermelon Song is my very favorite! Now I know you just want to get out there and get your own copy. Watermelon! Watermelon! Watermelon, Cantaloupe and Black-Eyed Peas...

1 comment:

Dana @ Our Sunny Side said...

In an earlier post you had mentioned Hank the Cowdog as one of your favorite read-alouds. I went in search of one the other week and we have been enjoying it!! You are is laugh-out-loud funny! The dogs make me think of the characters in The Aristocats. Thanks for the recommendation!