The Hank the Cowdog series began as a self-publishing venture in his garage in 1982 and has endured to become one of the nation’s most popular series for children and families. Through the eyes of Hank the Cowdog, a smelly, smart-aleck Head of Ranch Security, Erickson gives readers a glimpse of daily life on a ranch in the West Texas Panhandle. USA Today calls the series “the best family entertainment in years.”
Today, almost 30 years after its modest beginnings, Maverick Books is once again Hank’s official publisher, and is still located in Erickson’s hometown of Perryton. Publishers Weekly calls the Hank the Cowdog series a “grassroots publishing phenomena,” and, to date, the series has sold over 8 million copies.
From the start, John intended for the Hank stories to be read aloud, and one of the unique features of the series is that he has recorded all stories in the audio-book format, performing all the character voices himself and composing two original songs for each episode.
Erickson is currently working with a film group to produce a Hank the Cowdog animated movie, with the screenplay written by John and his son Mark. The movie is expected to reach theaters in 2015.
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Not sure what made me recall this, but you will be glad I did. When the boys were young (Number 1 and 2 sons, not Hillary and Pickles), we took a road trip to New Mexico. To keep them occupied on the road trip we got cassette tapes of Hank The Cow Dog read by the author, John Erickson. They were great.
Family friendly yet adult savvy. The stories are narrated by Hank (who has the intelligence level of a cow dog … nowhere near as smart as Maggie). He protects the ranch from the loud silver bird, bathes in the “spring” (the septic tank drain field run off), and solves all manor of “crimes” and “mysteries”.
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