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Children's LiteratureHank the Cowdog is at it again in installment 44 of the "Hank the Cowdog" series that shares his name and chronicles his adventures as self-professed "Head of Ranch Security." In this episode, Hank continues to wreak havoc despite his attempts to be useful. During a branding session, Hank fears that the cattle will fall into a deep hole on their way out of the pen due to his observation of gophers on the property. In his desire to convey this information to the cows and ranch hands, he barks crazily enough to start a stampede. Loper, the lead cowpoke, decides it is time to take action and sends Hank to obedience school. Slim, a second rancher, is asked to oversee Hank's education and enroll him in the necessary classes. In the process, Hank is betrayed by his dear hound friend, Drover, terrified by visions of doggie dungeons, and caught in the middle of the courtship between Slim and the beautiful Miss Viola. Ultimately, although he is an abysmal failure in class, Hank redeems himself by being a clever and loyal friend to Slim. The incongruence between Hank's perceptions and reality is likely to induce at least a chuckle here and there. Especially humorous are his confusions with language: the more he attempts to sound brilliant, the more uninformed he sounds. His genuineness and self-deprecating attitude, however, make him endearing and memorable. 2004, Penguin, Ages 8 to 13.
—Wendy Glenn, Ph.D.