Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Little Taste of the West!

Just before we started our 2009-2010 school lessons, we received a package in the mail from Maverick Books which contained a book, a CD, and a game. The book was Hank the Cowdog: The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse, which is part of a series of Hank the Cowdog books, we discovered. The CD was a collection of songs from the Hank the Cowdog series, and the game was Tornado, which is based on another of Hank the Cowdog book, The Case of the Swirling Killer Tornado. Being that we have never really introduced the kids to books set in the Wild, Wild West, this was new!
Straight away, Tornado was opened, constructed, learned, and played. Several times. The game is a fun chase-around-the-board game, much like Trouble, but the really beautiful part of this game is that it is self-contained: all of the pieces fit back inside the game board, which closes up into a rectangle slightly bigger than a VHS tape. For a family with stacks of school supplies, games, and crafts crammed into one big cabinet, this is a definite PLUS!

We began reading the book, The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse, and right away, my penchant for accents took over. The twang that I associate with the West came through, and the characters jumped right out of the book! My children giggled to some of the funnier comments these colorful characters make in the story, though I sometimes had to explain the jargon or the meaning of the words so they could "get it." Hank is a ranchin' dog, and he believes himself to be the keeper of ranch security. He has a bit of help in his pal, Drover, though admittedly not much, since Drover is definitely not the brains of the operation. The interactions between these two characters was quite entertaining to me, though the kids didn't always understand why Mommy was laughing. Anyway, there's Hank's true love, Beulah from a neighboring ranch, his sworn enemy, Pete the barn cat, and a bunch of other colorful characters that round out each of the Hank the Cowdog books.

Although the book did have some unfortunate negativity (words many of us would rather not hear our kids say, like "stupid"), I felt that my children are exposed to that stuff in movies already, not to mention with friends in the neighborhood. We just use those opportunities to make sure the kids understand how hurtful those words are and talk about why we don't say them around here... we call them "teachable moments."

The kids lost interest in the book after a few chapters, but that is probably because they are a bit more worldly than I would like and are not entertained by the simpler things anymore. This was an eye-opener for sure because I would like to believe that my children can still appreciate tales of dogs who live in the West and believe they are heroes. Sadly, they are more likely to be rock stars and Jedi masters around these here parts (say it with twang, y'all!).

So, if your children are less worldly, or are just in love with cowboys and the Wild, Wild West, the Hank the Cowdog series of books might be perfect for your family. The game, Tornado, is certainly a blast for anyone! {To see what my fellow TOS Homschool Crew Members had to say about Hank the Cowdog click here.}

No comments:

Post a Comment