Hank the Cowdog

Life on a cattle ranch from a dog's point of view. That's Hank the Cowdog!
As a member of The Old School House Homeschool Crew, I had the opportunity to review several Hank items:
When John Erickson, a former cowboy himslef, wrote the first Hank book, he saw it as a story a family read out loud together, which is why he began recording the books on audio. Each story also has a song or two in them. And where else would you hear dogs, coyotes, raccons, buzzards and more singing?
Hank's Tales and Tunes provides a great introduction to many of the characters in the Hank stories as it includes excerpts from 10 of Hank's stories, plus 9 original songs. They are performed like an old time radio show with sound effects and unique voices by the author himself. After listening to the CD you will "hear" the characters when you read the books. The dogs, buzzards and coyotes not only talk, they sing! You'll hear a variety of instruments including the banjo, marimba, synthesizers, guitar and more. It is 68 minutes long and Maverick books is currently selling the Tales and Tunes CD on Hank's website for the special price of $3.
Hank's TORNADO game is a wild, fast paced race and chase game. Each person gets a Hank, Drover, and Junior the buzzard game piece and it is a race to see who can get their pieces around the board and safe in their home spaces first. Plus there is a cassete tape with 30 minutes of excerpts from Hank's 25th story, The Case of the Swirling Killer Tornado. They tell a story that fits with the game. The game board folds up into it's own case and can easily be played in the car.
My boys played this with a neighbor friend and had so much fun with it that they didn't want it to end. When they got to the end and they didn't spin the correct number of spaces to win, they would go around the board again (as opposed to waiting until next turn)!
In The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse Hank encounters all kinds of trouble, including a killer horse named Tuerto. You can listen to a sample of the audio here.
Maverick offers the following on their website:
  • Paperback: $4.24
  • Hardback: $12.49
  • Cassette* $14.99
  • 1 paperback, 1 audio tape* $17.99
  • 1 paperback, 1 CD* $19.99
  • Audio CD* $17.99
  • *Cassettes and CD's unabridged.
See the complete selection of books and audio here or see their master products list here. There are now 54 books in the Hank Series, 5 more "audio only" stories, and lots of other Hank items available.
You can also visit:
Just so you know, I found Hank the Cowdog to be humorous, but slighty uncouth at times. I found some of the language and themes to be objectionable for our family. You might like this if your family is not sensitive to words like "idiot," "stupid," "dadgum" or "shut up, etc. and those kinds of things don't bother you. There was a time that we were desensitized to these kinds of things. If none of the above applies to you, you just might enjoy Hank the Cowdog.
Because John Erickson saw Hank as "a story a family read out loud together" - we did just that and substituted a few words like "silly" for "stupid." My husband did a great job reading and the boys were howling with laughter. They think it's a hoot - I say it is the kind of shenanigan humor I barely approve of! To see what other crew members think of 'ol Hank, click here.


  1. Those look great, Michelle. Wonderful review!

  2. Your reviews are so thorough and informative. Can't say this would be something I'd have looked into anyway unless Joe was much older--Hanna is into the "girly" books--thank goodness.

    I'm sure I'd agree with the choice of language--you'd be amazed at the length I go to in censoring reading materials for the kids/our home!

  3. Sounds fun for the most part, but if it has a dg word, I would SO be bothered by it. That is just a substitute for gd. :-(