Thursday, July 23, 2009

Review: Maverick Books

Maverick Books are the publishers of Hank the Cowdog. We love Hank around these parts. Oops, sorry, I started slipping in to "Hank-talk" there for a minute. My friend Deb shared with us about these books a few years ago. I know my oldest son went through a "Hank" phase & read quite a few of the books. We were beyond thrilled to find out we were going to be able to do a review as part of the TOS Crew for this company. Anticipation was very high while we waited to see what was going to show up in our package. Seriously, it's like Christmas around here with all the neat things arriving!

So what is exactly Hank the Cowdog? Hank is the head of ranch security that is constantly running into mishaps & mysteries. Maverick Books has a neat link on their site where you can meet all the characters that populate the books. Click HERE to go explore.

Hank #8

Inside our package were three items. The first was book #8 (image above) in the series. This is one that B & N had not read yet. B devoured it in about an hour & deemed it "good." He is a prolific reader like his mama but short on words, what can I say. I'm encouraging N to try it out. He's started it but hasn't finished it yet. He likes it as well so far.

The second item was a game called "Tornado ($12.99)." Have you ever played "Trouble" with your kids? It's the same concept. Each player has three game pieces. They have a "Hank," "Drover," & "Junior" pieces. Each piece has the same color holder on it. For instance, if you chose red, you would have a red Hank, a red Drover, and a red Junior. This had me a bit confused at first. I pretty much told the boys to read the directions & teach me how to play. And they did. Bless their hearts. You start with three pieces each & your goal is to get them to your home spaces. Only one player can occupy one space so if you land on another player, they are sent all the way home. There are "tornado" spaces on the board as well. If you land here, you spin again. Odd numbers send you back that number of spaces & even send you ahead. You can only move your pieces out after rolling certain numbers.

Tornado game

The boys are pretty much playing this every chance they get. It's a fun game - especially when you send someone all the way home just mere spaces away from winning. I loved the fact that this is a small portable game. The game is only 4x8 inches when folded but opens to 8.5x8.5 inches. It folds for easy traveling and storage. The pieces are stored inside the game when it's folded - including the spinner. I really wish this had arrived before we went to camp. It would have been the perfect game to take along with us.

The game also comes with a bonus cassette. I passed this along to my sister, however. I no longer own anything that will play a cassette and that just makes me feel old. Moving on....

The last item for our review was a CD called Tales & Tunes from Hank the Cowdog ($3). I had this blaring through the house the other day to the delight of my boys. They enjoy listening to the author, John Erickson, give all the characters a unique voice as he reads the stories. There are excerpts from ten books plus nine original songs. The songs are a hoot. This will be going in our truck so we can listen to it while running errands.

We really enjoy Hank here & found all of these products really fun. We are a game loving family so Tornado was an excellent fit for us.

If you'd like to read more reviews, please check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.

Disclaimer: Some readers may find the use of the words "dummy, moron, etc" that are used in the book irritating or offensive. This is used as a learning tool in our house but I did want to point out that these words and other similar ones are used in case that is an issue for you.


  1. I think Adam will like Hank. I'll give it a shot!

    Thanks for sharing great products with us.

  2. FUN. We also enjoy listening to Hank on audio!


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