The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

September 27, 2013

'Hank the Cowdog' author to present concert Saturday

By CHERIL VERNON
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — One of the country’s most loved children’s authors known for his “Hank the Cowdog” series is coming to Palestine on Saturday for two special performances.

“Hank the Cowdog” author John R. Erickson will present a concert, reading excerpts from his books and singing songs, at two shows Saturday — 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Palestine High School Auditorium.

The event is sponsored by the Palestine Junior Service League. Admission is free with a canned good item for donation.

“It’s going to be a great family event where all ages can enjoy the ‘Hank the Cowdog’ free performance and at the same time, hopefully collect canned goods to give back to the community through local food banks,” PJSL Arts Committee Co-Chair Brittany Leslie said. “All of the schools are very excited and we have had a bunch of calls from the flyers and ads we have put out there. Many people have grown up reading “Hank the Cowdog” or reading it to their kids.”

Erickson has written and published 75 books and more than 600 articles, but he is best known as the author of the “Hank the Cowdog” series of books, audio-books, and stage plays.

His stories have won a number of awards, including the Audie, Oppenheimer, Wrangler and Lamplighter Awards, and have been translated into Spanish, Danish, Farsi, and Chinese.

The “Hank the Cowdog” series began as a self-publishing venture in his garage in 1982 and has endured to become one of the nation’s most popular series for children and families. 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.

Each show on Saturday will be 50 minutes long. Order forms will be available to purchase books that will be shipped to Palestine, signed by Erickson.

“He will be available to sign books if you already have your own books after the first show and before and after the second show,” Leslie said.

Following each show, the PJSL members will sell popcorn and snowcones to raise money to put back into the PJSL’s arts program. Leslie’s co-chair is Amanda Dawson.

“Kids experience the world through arts. We (PJSL) try to bring as many art programs as possible, making them affordable where anybody could attend,” Leslie said.

PHS is located at 1600 S. Loop 256 in Palestine.

For more information about the “Hank the Cowdog” event, call Leslie at 903-948-0845.