The Book Bag (#5): Hank The Cowdog

Hello and welcome to The Book Bag! Today, we’re reaching all the way to the bottom! During my research for this review, I found out that Hank The Cowdog is more popular than I thought. The author, John R. Erickson actually lives on a ranch and presumably draws from his own experiences for the stories. He wanted the stories to be read aloud to children. Additionally, some Hank The Cowdog books are specifically made just for an audiobook. Also, some of Hank’s adventures have been turned into stage plays! The series officially started in the nineteen-eighties. Some of the books were animated for CBS. Did this newfound knowledge make me biased in reading three of the books? No, because I did my research after reading the books!


To begin, even if you don’t count the exclusive audio books, musical CDs, or plays, there’s still sixty-nine books in the series. Normally, I would read every book in the series in order to do a proper retrospective, but that may be challenging in this case. Despite that, this isn’t necessarily a retrospective. I consider it to be similar to my first review, Ungifted, where I go over a series that I liked as a child to see if it still holds up now. That being said, I went to my local library, found the books, and selected three of them: The Case Of The Missing Bird Dog, The Case Of The Mysterious Voice, and The Case Of The Perfect Dog.


The series follows the adventure of Hank, a cowdog. He believes that he is the Head of Ranch Security. Oftentimes, his missions and adventures can translate to accidentally ruining a flower bed or eating a cake left out for a guest. He’s goofy but means well. Pete the Cat is one of his many enemies. Recurring character Beulah is his love interest…sort of. She always rejects him.


I loved them. The series is just as imaginative and clever now as it was in my elementary school years. Every character has unique actions and voices. Drover is the cowardly sidekick, Hank believes that he’s some kind of spy/cowboy (cowdog?), Pete the Cat is a jerk, Sally May yells at Hank for messing things up, and Slim and Loper are mildly incompetent.


The humor is superb. In almost every book, Hank comes up with some kind of song or poem based on a recent event. Typically, they’re bad. Also, he tends to fall asleep in random situations, almost like he snork pork chop gravy wink snx zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Yeah, basically like that.


If I could name anything negatives, it would be that some parts can feel slightly repetitive. Additionally, this might be because I want to read more, but the books are too short. Oh, well, I can’t wait to go back to the library and find more of the books. Better yet, I could dig up my old copies of them! To the bookshelves!


I’m Zachary Krishef and I hope that you have an excellent day.


Hank The Cowdog by John R. Erickson

Reviewed by Zachary Krishef


Ask me questions on TV Tropes, my blog, or here! My troper handle is MiscellaneousSoup.

Next Time: I’m going to review a story about vampires. Hooray!


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