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The Children’s Book Review
When Fred the Snake Got Squished, and Mended
Written by Peter Benjamin Cotton
Illustrated by Bonnie Lemaire
Ages 4-7 | 30 Pages
Publisher: Bublish, Inc. | ISBN-13: 9781948543446
What to Expect: Medicine, animals, road safety, humor.
Fred the Snake is pretty smart about living in the jungle and doing jungle-living things. However, when he comes to the big city to live, he’s not nearly so street-smart: enticed by the stripy barber’s pole across the road, he dashes forward and forgets his “crossing code”! Poor Fred is squished by a speeding ambulance and gets cut clean in two.
Rushed to the hospital on a makeshift stretcher of fireman’s ladders, he’s not at all sure that the doctors will be able to put him back together. However, with some expert help from a specialist team of snake-savvy surgeons and a unique thread sent direct from the Jungle, Fred is soon stitched up and on the mend. Most importantly, he’s sure to remember proper road safety next time!
In the vein of the great cautionary tales, from writers like Hilaire Belloc to Roald Dahl, How Fred the Snake Got Squished, and Mended uses witty illustrations and multi-layered language to hide an important message within a wildly entertaining story. The punchy rhymes and wordplay will have readers giggling in no time, while Bonnie Lamaire’s fun and colorful illustrations have plenty of extra details for them to delight in finding. Beneath the humor is an essential lesson about the dangers of not looking before you cross the road, as well as some reassuring glimpses into the world of medicine and hospitals that may help alleviate anxiety for any reader unfortunate enough to need surgery.
Quirky and playful, When Fred the Snake Got Squished, and Mended is both instructional and enjoyable.
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About the Author
Peter Cotton is a semi-retired Professor of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston. He grew up in England and graduated as a doctor in 1963 from Cambridge University and St. Thomas Hospital Medical School (London). He joined the faculty of the
Middlesex Hospital and Medical School where he developed a new department integrating medical and surgical gastroenterology. His group pioneered many diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy procedures, particularly ERCP, and was active in teaching. He attracted postgraduates from many countries.
Peter left England in 1986 to become Professor of Medicine and Chief of Endoscopy at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA. He moved again to Charleston, South Carolina in 1994 to
initiate the Digestive Disease Center at MUSC. Peter has been active in many National and International organizations and has given invited lectures and demonstrations in over 50 countries. His bibliography includes more than 900 medical publications and 17 medical textbooks.
His ramblings about Fred the snake started as a bedtime story for his kids to remind them how (not) to cross the road. When they had their kids, they asked “what happened to Fred-Fred”. Peter found a wonderful illustrator (Bonnie Lemaire) and published “When Fred the Snake was Squished and Mended”. This proved popular and he got on a roll, with now 6 books about Fred, managed by Bublish inc. After recovering from squishing, Fred went to school with the boy, received some friends from Jungle Jim, explored Charleston, went to the beach, and then went camping. The next book will have Fred touring the sights of the USA.
The books have been well-reviewed and gained several awards including 2 Mom’s choice gold medals. One reviewer said “Move over Lewis Carroll”! Peter and Marion Cotton live on Dewees Island, SC. They are blessed with 4 “children”, 8 grand, and 2 great grands. They enjoy family, friends, travel, wildlife, and golf.
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