Guest Author - Marie Rippel
Have you met Hank yet?
Hank the Cowdog books are a mixture of fun, mystery and adventure. Hank and Drover, his sidekick, get tangled up in all sorts of interesting situations as they aim to protect the ranch. Follow along as Hank messes with a porcupine, humbles cats, and mixes with coyotes, all in the name of "ranch security."
The books in the Hank the Cowdog series will tickle your funny bone! John Erickson, the author of the series, is a real cowboy in Texas with a great sense of humor, and he masterfully pulls in bits of real ranch life. These books are fun read-alouds, as the humor appeals to both parents and kids.
When my son was younger, he devoured the entire series. We would hear him laughing out loud in his room as he followed along with Hankís adventures and mishaps. He enjoyed retelling Hank's escapades to the rest of the family. Even now, when a new book in the series is released, my son adds it to his wish list so he can check up on whatís new on the ranch.
The publisher's suggested age range for these books is 9-12. Because of their appeal, I could see these books pulling in reluctant readers. There is a lot of dialogue, though, so if you are working with a struggling reader make sure that he understands how to read dialogue. Some children need to be explicitly taught how to anticipate who is speaking. To help prevent frustration on the student's part, model reading several pages. Then have the child read aloud so you can check his understanding.
We discovered the audio renditions of the books when I was gathering books at our local library in preparation for a long road trip. They are great! Read by the author, the Hank the Cowdog audio books kept everyone in the car entertained. Erickson acts out each characters part to perfection and makes you want to hear more.
If you have a Hank fan at your house, you may want to check the link below. It leads to the full listing of Hank the Cowdog books so you can make sure that you havenít missed any!