Maverick Books is one of those companies that is new to me. Maverick Books offers books, music, storytelling CDs, games, posters, and t-shirts based upon the characters created by author John Ericson. Ericson created the character, Hank, the cowdog, "the famed head of ranch security" and he's written a series of books about Hank's mystery adventures, in addition to producing audio CDs that sound like old-time radio shows with sound effects and sometimes comical voices for each of the characters. Maverick Books has created some games to fit the Hank theme as well.
My 12 year old and 10 year old typically developing children think Hank is a bit too young for them based on the cover (arg) and my 10 year old on the autism spectrum is not quite ready for the stories, yet. I am a 40-something mom who thinks The Case of the One Eyed Killer Stud Horse is hilarious!
I predict that Hank's stories will be a wonderful resource for individuals with autism because of the level of perspective taking that is involved in understanding the tales. Hank's stories are told through his eyes, and Hank, remember, is a dog. He misunderstands the words and actions of other characters in the stories, and they misunderstand his words and actions, sometimes. Hank often reminds me of Deputy Barney Fife! The stories are quite entertaining, and I laughed out loud several times while reading the book and when listening to the Tales and Tunes CD while running errands by myself. Ericson has a fun sense of humor and he is incredibly talented at telling tales using a different voice for each character.
I tried to use the Tales and Tunes CD on one of our long car trips, but my younger princess would not tolerate it. She does not process auditory information fast enough to grasp even excerpts of stories on CD, and a CD like this one frustrates her. The CD is more tales than tunes.
Our favorite item is the game. (!!!!!!) We have all thumbs up from sibs and a BFF for Hank's Tornado Game.
A heads up: Hank uses some words that we avoided when our children were smaller. When my children were little, they thought that the "s" word was "stupid" and the "d" word was "dumb". We tried very hard to avoid using those words (and a few others), and as the children have grown older and understand appropriateness more, we have relaxed a little. The stories are fun, and if you have a problem with "dadgum" and "stupid", you may choose to use the books for your read-alouds so that you can choose to skip the words, or explain them to your listeners.
Overall, Hank the Cowdog is a lot of fun!
For reviews of these products by my Crewmates, click HERE.