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35 West Texas author John Erickson is a man who knows of what he writes. His HANK THE COWDOG books, set on a sprawling ranch and inhabited by a crew of cowboys and critters, are based on many years of his own experiences. Erickson was born and raised in West Texas, attended the University of Texas and Harvard Divinity School in Massachusetts. When he returned to his home state in the late 1960's, he began publishing short stories while working full-time as a cowboy, farmer, and ranch manager. Hank and his sidekick Drover, the bumbling pooches who star in Erickson's best-selling series, were actual dogs Erickson worked with. His skillful mixing of true-life experience, out-and-out silliness, and adventure has gained Hank a faithful following of children and adults alike. The HANK THE COWDOG saga began in Erickson, tired of ranching and receiving rejection slips for his writing, borrowed $2000 to start his own publishing company, Maverick Books. It was a daring move—he and his wife had two children, and were expecting a third. Going with his intuition, Erickson included two Hank stories in his first book, THE DEVIL IN TEXAS. He set to work selling his book at cattle auctions, rodeos, and state fairs, working right from the back of his pickup truck. Soon, "Dear Hank," letters started pouring in, and Erickson knew he was on to something. In 1983, he printed 2000 copies of THE ORIGINAL ADVENTURES OF HANK THE COWDOG. They sold out in six weeks! An audiotape followed, and soon Erickson was combining his storytelling skills with his talent for singing and songwriting. Hank and his creator quickly became a Texas phenomenon. Today, with more than 50 Hank books in print, John Erickson runs his own 7,000 acre ranch in Perryton, Texas, with his wife and three children. He travels to schools, libraries, and bookstores all over the country with his books and banjo, spreading the message that reading is as fun as it is important.

36 "Here's a quiz about the books for children from John R Erickson's "Hank the Cowdog series"." 1. Who is Hank's dream girl? Viola Beaulah Sally May Daisy 2. In "The Case of the Halloween Ghost", what is Slim's specialty dish he prepares for his date? Cowboy Round Steaks Cowpoke Cornbread Pasture Patties Pecan Pie 3. What kind of dog is Rufus? Doberman Pinscher German Sheperd Border Collie Poodle 4. What is rooster, J.T Cluck's biggest concern? the kids today the price of tea in China world hunger who's watching the henhouse 5. Drover wakes up early. True False 6. What do Hank and Drover usually eat? steak and potatoes Co-op dog food beans and franks burgers and fries 7. Junior, the buzzard, wants to be a singer when he grows up. True False 8. Who is Hank's nemesis around the ranch? Drover Charlie the horse Beaulah the collie Pete the barncat 9. What are the coyote brothers' names? Loper and Slim Moldy and Grime Rip and Snort Scratch and Growl 10. Who is Little Alfred's sister? Betty Lou Molly Sally May Mary Jane

37 * What is the name of the cat that Hank hates the most? * What is the name of Hank's assistant? * In the book, subtitled "The Case of the Incredible Priceless Corncobs", what does Pete try to trade for corncobs? * In the series book "The Case of the Night-Stalking Bone Monster", who was the bone monster? * In the series book "The Garbage Monster From Outer Space", what was the name of the racoon that got Hank in trouble? * What does Hank sleep on? * Where do the coyotes live? * What is Alfred's last name? * Who is Hank's dream girl? * In "The Case of the Halloween Ghost", what is Slim's specialty dish he prepares for his date? * What kind of dog is Rufus? * What is rooster, J.T Cluck's biggest concern? * What do Hank and Drover usually eat? * Who is Hank's nemesis around the ranch? * What are the coyote brothers' names? * Who is Little Alfred's sister?

38 WORD LIST: Hank the Cowdog Drover Slim Pete Sally May Loper Rip Snort Missy

39 The Case of the Cookie Moon When Hank finds out that Drover has made an important scientific discovery about the moon, he gets oatmeal cookies on the brain. He accidentally gets loaded in Loper and Sally May's car that also contains a picnic basket with... you guessed it-oatmeal cookies! Will Hank be able to resist the temptation or will he actually find out that Sally May packed the picnic just for him? Find out in this Hank adventure written exclusively for newspapers!

40 TROPICAL ILLUSION The drawing below may look the same. However, Hank the highly trained cowdoy can see that it is clearly just a “tropical illusion.” Which means it’s something that isn’t what it appears to be. There two pictures may look the same, but they’re not. Can you find the 11 differences between them?

41 Someone has messed up Hank’s gunny sack bed under the gas tanks. Can you help Hank solve the mystery? In order to solve a crime, cowdogs use all of their keen senses to sift through the clues to uncover the culprit. However, this time Hank has decided to solve this crime with four of his senses tied in front of his back. As you go through the clues below there are right clues and false clues. The right clues are the ones that use the sense of sight. Only clues that can be verified by what you see are right. If there is a clue that requires you to hear, touch, smell or taste, ignore that clue. It is a false clue. Read each clue carefully. Put an X and the clue number beside a character or you may let the real culprit go free. Will you help Hank find out who messed up his bed? THE GUNNY SACK MYSTERY The suspect is an animal. The suspect does not have horns. The suspect can not make a rattling sound. The suspect is soft to touch. The suspect has legs. The suspect does not have feathers. The suspect does not have sharp quills. The suspect makes a meow sound. The suspect has a short tail. The culprit is _______________________.

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