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The Case of the Burrowing Robot

by John R. Erickson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hank the Cowdog (42)

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Hank the Cowdog, Head of Ranch Security, uses his keen detective skills to find the ruffian responsible for digging holes in Sally May's garden.

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Sadly, only the county bookmobile has an audio copy of The Case of the Burrowing Robot, so I had to borrow a print copy. Yes, that meant I got to see all the illustrations and the reader activity pages, but I do prefer the audio versions with their sound effects and music.

Sally May, with the help of Little Alfred (pronounced 'Alferd') and Slim Chance, has planted her garden. That garden is OFF LIMITS to dogs, so what are Hank and Drover to do when that's where the burrowing robot from outer space picks to dig up? Who will get blamed for the mess? (We know...)

Once again, Hank decides to quit. He's determined to go off into the wilderness even if it means he'll be eaten by coyotes. How long will he last out there?

Expect the usual fun of Hank mixing up words, getting confused when he tries to talk to Drover, leaping to ridiculously tall conclusions in a single bound, and being misunderstood by his humans. Pete the Barncat will once again demonstrate that he's smarter and sneakier than our favorite cowdog. Loved the fact that both Sally May and Madame Moonshine get to solve a couple of problems that have the male characters stumped.

Madame Moonshine? Yes, the strange little psychic burrowing owl is back again, as is her rattlesnake bodyguard, Timothy. (Loved the expression on Hank's face as he spots Big Tim blocking his path in chapter 11.)

Also got a chuckle out of Hank's explanation for why he figures the cowboys had built Sally May's garden hog wire fence on a cool day rather than a hot one, but it was the scenes between Hank and Madame Moonshine that made me laugh the loudest.


The first song in this book, 'The Sharing of Pain', is in chapter two.

Drover mentions his puppyhood best friend, Rupert, in chapter 4. If you're thinking that Rupert was another puppy, or even a kitten, guess again.

Hank states that Sally May's garden is northeast of the gas tanks where their 'office complex' is, that it's about halfway between the tanks and the corrals, and how it's fenced in chapter 5.

In chapter 10, Hank mentions that Madame Moonshine helped him with his case of 'Eye-Crosserosis'. That was in book two, The Further Adventures of Hank the Cowdog. She also appeared in book 11, Lost in the Dark Unchanted Forest, and book 28, The Mopwater Files.

The second song in this book, 'The Song of the Third Test of Truth', appears in chapter 11.

The reader activity pages (127-129) are: 'Rhyme Time', 'Tropical Illusion' (spot the differences between two pictures), and '''Photogenic'' Memory Quiz'. They're not much too easy: I couldn't think of two of the rhymes, didn't spot one of the differences, couldn't answer one of the quiz's questions at all, and wasn't sure about another quiz answer.

Am I going to check out more Hank the Cowdog books? You bet! ( )
  JalenV | May 10, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John R. Ericksonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Holmes, Gerald L.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Nathaniel Bennett Hobson, a future fan of the Hank books which are edited by his mother, Kristin Gilson
First words
It's me again, Hank the Cowdog.
[Hank and Drover are discussing what to do after discovering the 'burrowing robot'. Drover has already suggested pretending they didn't find it.]

I gave that some thought. 'It's tempting, Drover, and that's just the kind of thing your ordinary dogs would do -- hide, go back to bed, make up an elaborate diaper of lies to cover their hineys. But we're the Elite Troops of the Security Division and we have to be just a little bit special.'

'I'm especially scared, that's how special I feel.' (chapter five)
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Hank the Cowdog, Head of Ranch Security, uses his keen detective skills to find the ruffian responsible for digging holes in Sally May's garden.

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