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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 Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Born and raised in England, he moved to the USA in 1986 to head up the Endoscopy Department at Duke University in Durham, NC. He moved to Charleston in 1994 to establish the Digestive Disease Center. He is known throughout the world for his expertise, innovation, research, and teaching in the use of endoscopy procedures to manage GI problems that previously needed surgery. He named the procedure for treating biliary and pancreatic problems: ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography).
He has authored popular textbooks, published over 300 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and lectured in more than 50 countries. Now semi-retired and encouraged by grandchildren, he has written five books about Fred the friendly snake. The first one, “When Fred the Snake got Squished and Mended,” was a bedtime story for his children when small, to teach them how (not) to cross the road. When they had their children, they asked, “what happened to Fred-Fred?”. Peter revamped the text, found a wonderful illustrator (Bonnie Lemaire in Canada), and published the Fred book series.
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August 20, 2021 at 11:17PM Bianca Schulze