Title: The Dungeon of DoomHank the Cowdog # 44 - The Dungeon of Doom
Author: John R. Erickson
Illustrator: Gerald L. Holmes
Pages: 122
Reading Level: 8-12
Star Rating: ★★★

Rarf!

The Story.

What do those crazy cowboys mean scheduling a branding day without alerting the Head of Ranch Security? How do they expect him to do his job if they never tell him when visitors are supposed to be arriving?!? Well, even though Hank recognizes the people arriving, he decides that he’s going to give them a royal welcome, just to remind Loper not to leave him out of the loop again. Yessirree, he’s going to flounce right into the circle, put some fear-of-dog into them, then wait to be invited on the roundup. Heh. This is going to be a great day.

Or on second thought, this might be a better day to just relax at home. Sure the ranchers begged him to come along, but he refused. Or maybe… Guess it’s better to tell the truth. They told him he couldn’t come. Stupid rustlers. But Hank refuses to abandon his duties. Upon finding a dangerous network of gopher tunnels surrounding the corral gate, Hank knows that he must avert the cattle from the gate, or else risk bovine with broken legs. Oh no, here they come! Rarf, rarf, arrrooooooo!

A stampede you say? Surely not. No, that wasn’t a stampede – that was just a, well, maybe it was a stampede. And maybe Loper and Slim Chance think it’s Hank’s fault. And maybe it was. But that’s no reason for them to formulate diabolical plans to subject Hank to a cruel and insufferable punishment! They’re actually thinking of sending Hank to… OBEDIENCE SCHOOL!

Can Hank find a way to either convince his men that he is indeed reformed and repentant, or else stomach his way through that insult to cowdog-dom?

Discussion.

Old Hank hasn’t lost any of his spice as the series progresses. In this book he rather falls all over himself getting into trouble, then all over everybody else trying to get out of it. He feels the pathos of happiness, rage, glee, guilt, and everything in between. By the end of the story he is, as always, partially reformed.

Hank has his typical disagreements with Pete the Barncat, that manifestation of feline self-satisfaction and sufficiency. He also has a few tangles with Drover. Mild euphemisms ‘gosh’, ‘heck’, ‘darn’, ‘gee’, and the like are sprinkled throughout the story.

Conclusion. I always enjoy reading Hank the Cowdog, but I believe that I am more capable of sorting through silliness and sarcasm to enjoy the truly hilarious nuggets of humor in Hank than most children would be. However, each parent will want to try Hank out and come to their own conclusions concerning what their children can handle.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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