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The Case of the Vampire Cat #21 (Hank the Cowdog) Paperback – August 1, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Cowboy Slim, Little Alfred, Drover, and Hank head over to the hodges' Place one cold day to feed the cattle Loper is wintering there. When they get to the ranch, they find Mary D Cat, who has an insatiable appetite for cheese and company. Since it's so snow out, Cowboy Slim loads the feed cakes onto the Cammo-Stealth army truck, designed just for those kind of slippery days. Hank, hops on the back of the truck without a second thought. A minute and a sharp turn later, Hank finds himself pitched off into a snowbank with only Mary to help save him from being Coyote Chow. Dose Cowboy Slim realize that Hank's missing in action? Can Hank make it back to Loper's place on his own? Is Mary D Cat really a vampire? Also available as a paperback (#9235 $6. 95) and in hardcover (#9236 $11. 95). -- Midwest Book Review --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Hank the Cowdog (Book 21)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reissue edition (August 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141303972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141303970
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,845,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John R. Erickson, a former cowboy and ranch manager, is gifted with a storyteller's knack for spinning a yarn. 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. This series of books and tapes is in school libraries across the country, has sold more than 7.6 million copies, is a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, and is the winner of the 1993 Audie for Outstanding Children's Series from the Audio Publisher's Association. Publishers Weekly calls Hank a "grassroots publishing phenomena," and USA Today says this is "the best family entertainment in years."

The road to stardom for Hank, however, wasn't all dog biscuits and gravy. Erickson graduated from the University of Texas in 1966 and studied for two years at Harvard Divinity School. He began to publish short stories in 1967 while working full-time as a cowboy, farmhand, and ranch manager in Texas and Oklahoma. Hank and his sidekick Drover are dogs Erickson worked with on the range. This mixture of true-life experience, fun, and adventure has gained Hank a loyal following of thousands of children and adults.

In 1982, however, Erickson was at his rope's end. "I was working out in the cold; there was 8 inches of snow on the ground," he says, "I had just gotten a couple of rejection slips from New York publishers, and I had a wife with two kids and another one on the way." So, with $2,000 in borrowed money, Erickson started his own publishing company, appropriately named Maverick Books.

Hank the Cowdog made his debut in the pages of The Cattleman, a magazine for adults. An obvious favorite of readers, Erickson included two of Hank's humorous stories in Maverick Book's first publishing effort, The Devil in Texas (1982). Erickson began selling books from his pickup truck at cattle auctions, rodeos, and just about any place cowboys gathered.

When Erickson started getting "Dear Hank" letters, he knew he was onto something. So in 1983, he self-published 2,000 copies of The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog, and they sold out in 6 weeks. Not long after that first printing, the book was recorded word-for-word on audiotape. Since then, every Hank book has been recorded, making Hank the longest-running successful children's series on audio, ever. (Source: Billboard)

When teachers began inviting Erickson to their schools, Hank found his most eager fans. Teachers, librarians, and students alike love Hank. According to some Texas Library Association surveys, the Hank the Cowdog books are the most popular selections in many libraries' children's sections. The lively characters make excellent material for reading and writing lessons, and turn even the most reluctant readers into avid Hank-fans. When used with the books, Hank tapes increase reading skills rapidly. And, in response to popular demand from the growing bilingual market, the first two Hank the Cowdog adventures are available in Spanish.

Although the Hank books began as a regional phenomenon, CBS Television heard about them and brought out a thirty-minute cartoon of the first book. It aired in May 1985 as part of a series called "CBS Storybreak."

Erickson has also written several books for young adults, the "Riley McDaniels Series". The first book of the series, "Moonshiner's Gold", won the 2003-2004 Lamplighter Award. The second book in the series, "Discovery at Flint Springs," was a finalist for the Lamplighter Award the following year. He has also written several books about cowboying based on his own experiences.

Erickson was born in Midland, Texas, but by the age of 3, he had moved with his family to Perryton, Texas, where he and his wife live today on their working cattle ranch. They have 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren. His advice to young writers is, "Write about something you know. Try to leave your readers better off than they were before."

For more information about John R. Erickson and the Hank the Cowdog books, please visit www.hankthecowdog.com.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name on February 3, 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
I am currently listening to The Vampire Cat as I drive back and forth to work and can hardly wait to get back in my car! I read the Hank books as a child growing up in West Texas and now love to imagine the Caprock and dusty plains as I grumble through the fresh hell of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex morning rush. I got a little sad when Mary Dee Cat lamented leaving her home (where she was "marooned for two long years") and the glorious sunsets and night skies. Hank in all his bravado cracks me up, as do the rest of the characters in this book and the other books (the buzzard father and son team, coyotes Rip & Snort, the fabulous weenie Drover, monosyllabic Slim, and prissy Pete the Barn Cat not to mention crazy Mary Dee). They're old friends I'm glad to read about and listen to again.
This book really made me hungry for cheese....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Cox VINE VOICE on December 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I love all the Hank books, and this is a great one for the Christmas season. These books are hilarious and more important to the young reader, fun to read. I'd also check the rest of the series.

Author of "Hobo Finds A Home" editor "Of A Predatory Heart"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I use Erickson's book to read to patients at a nursing home. they love them and this has lots of chuckles in it! It is rare to hear laughter in a nursing home. when it happens patients start arriving to see what is going on and they stay to laugh also!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a fantasy. It is narrated by a dog named, Hank. He works on a ranch in Texas and calls himself the head of security. He acts very brave, but he really isn't.

The story takes place during the winter. It is very cold and snowy. Hank rides with Cowboy Slim to feed the animals at the Hodges' Place. They have to use an army truck because the roads are dangerous. Hank is riding in the back of the truck. They pass coyotes and Hank makes fun of them. The truck goes around a curve and Hank accidentally falls out. Hank thinks they will come back for him, but they don't. No one notices he is missing. He has to find a way to make it home.

Hank walks to a nearby farm and meets a crazy cat named Mary D. Cat. He doesn't like cats and wants to get away from her. Soon coyotes appear and Hank is very afraid. Mary D. Cat tells Hank how to get home. Hank decides he can't leave the cat alone and goes back to save her from the coyotes. He makes up a story about the cat being a vampire. Mary D. Cat goes along with it and acts like she really is a vampire. The coyotes get scared and run away.

Mary D. Cat helps Hank find his way out of the canyon. She decides to go back to her farm. Hank realizes he they have become friends. Hank finally makes his way back to the ranch.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is a really good hank book and i have read them all. it includes lots of the usual characters plus introducing the vampire cat.
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