Peter Benjamin Cotton

Children's Books

Author Profile

Peter Benjamin Cotton

British-born semi-retired Professor of Medicine in Charleston, SC, widely traveled and author of many medical books. I wrote the first story about Fred the snake getting squished (and mended) when my kids were young, to teach them how not to cross the road. When they had their own children, they asked "what happened to Fred-Fred" (so-called because he was in two pieces initially). So, we dusted it off and found a publisher. It seemed popular and fun for me, so I now have six books (beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Lemaire) about Fred the friendly snake. After recovering from squishness, Fred has gone to school, welcomed Jungle Jim and other animals, explored Charleston, enjoyed the beach and taken his friends camping. The midwest book review said "Move over for Fred-Fred, Lewis Carroll" And, I was not named after a rabbit.


When Fred The Snake Got Squished, and Mended

Children's Books

Oh, no! Fred the Snake didn't look both ways to see if there were any speeding vehicles coming. Now, he's cut in two! Fred must wait in the hospital for the doctors to sew him back together. But they need a special bendy thread that can only be found in the distant, wild jungle! Can Jungle Jim help?

Book Bubbles from When Fred The Snake Got Squished, and Mended

Be careful, Fred

When Fred first ventured out from his new home he did not know how to cross the road safely. He thought that the barbers pole was another snake so "rushed, without a glance into the path of an ambulance". He got squished! Why did I choose that odd word, when he actually got BISECTED? Maybe not to upset my then young children, who eventually called him Fred-Fred. Happily the doctor mended him with the special thread that Jungle Jim collected from under a rhino. The story has a happy ending As he fell asleep I heard Fred say “It’s been a very trying day; tomorrow when I cross the road I won’t forget my Forest Code.” And nor will you, that’s my advice, Lest you spell your name like Fred-Fred, twice.

Fred in the jungle

Fred our friendly snake was raised in the jungle, where animals go "oink-oink" and drop things on your head "boink-boink". When he had an accident in his adopted land his doctor needed some special bendy thread that only grows underneath rhinos! Who would be brave enough to disturb such a big creature? Jungle Jim is READY! Read on......

Be careful crossing the road

I wrote the first story about Fred the snake to teach my then young kids how (not) to cross the road. "Fred thought the pole on the Barber’s shop was a friendly snake. Oh Fred! Stop, STOP! But he dashed across with never a glance into the path of an ambulance". Happily his wounds were mended at the hospital with a special thread that Jungle Jim sent. Helped by star illustrator Bonnie Lemiare there are now 6 books about Fred's adventures .

Meet Jungle Jim!

Fred-Fred gets squished, and there's only one person to help! Thankfully, Fred's new friend got word to Jungle Jim, who lives in the deepest part of the jungle. Now, he must be very brave as he disturbs a huge animal to retrieve the special thread that's needed to mend Fred-Fred.

When Fred the Snake Got Squished

Fred the friendly snake didn't know how to cross the road, and something terrible happened! Don't worry. Jungle Jim helped by sending some special thread that would mend Fred back to new. Get your copy to learn how to NOT cross the street!

Contrite mended Fred

Fred was very grateful to Jungle Jim, for braving the fierce rhino to get the special mendy thread, and wrote a letter of thanks for his efforts, always a nice thing to do. Fred will be more careful crossing the road in future.

When Fred the Snake and Friends Explore Charleston

Children's Books

Fred and his newly arrived friends that Jungle Jim brought go out to explore and enjoy the sights of Charleston, South Carolina

Book Bubbles from When Fred the Snake and Friends Explore Charleston

Charleston, SC

Fred the snake and friends enjoyed exploring the lovely city of Charleston. "We took a carriage ride, explored the grand old houses south of Broad, admired the churches and their spires. This carriage could use softer tires. I fear we might break some bones, bouncing on these cobblestones. Turned the corner then to show the famous pretty rainblow row" As they say in the South "Y'all come visit". Lots to see and do.

What's Next for Fred-Fred?

Fred the friendly snake (called Fred-Fred by my kids because he got squished in two in the first book) did well at school and then invited Jungle JIm to come visit with some friends, and to see where Fred lives. Travel restrictions in place now (April 2020) make it impossible for all of us to walk the streets of the beautiful city of Charleston, SC, where I live and work. So, turn the pages and take a fun virtual tour, illustrated perfectly by Bonnie. Y'all come on......

Charleston restaurants

Charleston, SC, has much to offer for both residents and tourists. Over the last 10-15 years it has become a Foodie destination. There are dozens of great restuarants both on and off the peninsula. Fred enjoyed the mussels at Rue de Jean, as I do!

Fred tours Charleston

I am Peter Cotton, the author, living in Charleston, SC, so wanted Fred and friends to see the sights.

When Fred the Snake and Friends Go to the Beach

Children's Books

Jack and Perdy's Dad comes home from a trip and takes everyone on a ferry boat to Dewees Island. They spend a happy day on the beach, but had a scare when Bernadette got swept out to sea. Jack rescued her with a windsurfer.

Book Bubbles from When Fred the Snake and Friends Go to the Beach

Daddy gets back from his trip

When Daddy (with his new beard) got back from a business trip, he invited JP and Perdy to spend the day at the beach. Of course they took Jungle Jim, Fred, Bernadette and their many friends.

On the ferry to Dewees island

Fred and Bernadette went to the beach on Dewees Island,with the boy JP, his sister Perdy and their Mum and Dad. Here they are on the ferry, the Dewees Islander. They had a wonderful time, but JP had to save Bernadette who was washed out to sea on her floaty.

When Jungle Jim Comes to Visit Fred the Snake

Children's Books

Jack and Perdy's Dad comes home from a trip and takes everyone on a ferry boat to Dewees Island. They spend a happy day on the beach, but had a scare when Bernadette got swept out to sea. Jack rescued her with a windsurfer.

Book Bubbles from When Jungle Jim Comes to Visit Fred the Snake

Friends coming to visit Fred

Jungle Jim decided to visit Fred and his new family across the seas "Jim decided who to take. He chose a lovely lady snake, and some parrot birds to fly, and check the best route from the sky… A mongoose and a pair of sloth, Jim agreed to take them both, a giraffe who had schooled with Fred, came to watch the road ahead, and then bringing up the rear, two monkeys and a baby deer. A tiger really wanted in, but Jim was nervous taking him. Tigers have a lot of bounce and a tendency to pounce!

Fred invites Jungle Jim to visit

Jungle Jim had sent Fred the snake to the boy (JP) in South Carolina, where he had a great time, and even went to school. But he began to miss his old jungle friends, so asked Jim to come visit and bring a bunch of them.Jim bravely assembled a small menagerie and set sail.

When Fred The Snake and Friends Go Camping

When Fred The Snake and Friends Go Camping

Children's Books

Fred, Bernadette, Perdy, Jack, their dog Coco and many animals cram into Jim's truck and find a nice camping spot. They explore the area and enjoy hang gliding, but have to be rescued when they come unstuck when white water rafting.

Book Bubbles from When Fred The Snake and Friends Go Camping

Be careful with mushrooms

When Jungle Jim took Jack, Perdy, Fred and friends on a camping trip, they saw beautiful mushrooms with bright spots on them. Jim said “In the woods, take care, heed the advice I need to share. Mushrooms may look pretty, still, some of them can make you ill, and please be careful, very, if you choose to eat a berry. There are many types, and lots, that can break you out in spots”. Everybody’s sure to laugh at a spotty tall giraffe!" Be careful, check the guide books or ask a friendly ranger, please


Jungle Jim, Fred, Perdy, Jack, Coco and the animals have landed on an island after crashing over the waterfall. How can they summon help and get back to camp? Perdy, can you see anyone with your binocs? Is that a ranger in his truck?

Whoa! Big waterfall

Fred the snake, family and friends, thought they were on a nice quiet water float, but were suddenly and scarily launched over a waterfall. Good thing that Jim made sure they were wearing "floaty vests". Hold on tight Coco! What will happen to them? Please read on


Fred, family and friends suddenly see the upcoming waterfall....what will happen? Read on please

Fred goes camping

After exploring Charleston and going to the beach at Dewees Island, Fred asked Jungle Jim to take him camping, along with his family, Perdy, Jack, their dog Coco and the other animals. They had fun and even went hang gliding, but also a scary moment while white water rafting. Read on to see what happened.

When Fred the Snake and Friends Explore USA East

Children's Books

This is the seventh book in the series about Fred the friendly snake, who was sent as a present by Jungle Jim. Having gone camping with his friends in book six, in this book, “When Fred The Snake and Friends Explore USA East,” the adventure continues as they have fun in some of the best cities along the eastern United States.

Hold on tight, and go along on their ride.

Book Bubbles from When Fred the Snake and Friends Explore USA East

When Fred the Snake Goes To School

Children's Books

After a happy summer playing together, the boy wants to take Fred the Snake to school! Fred is a friendly snake, but the students were nervous at first. Then Fred earned their trust and affection by playing real nice and twisting into fun things they needed, like a jump rope and soccer goal!

Book Bubbles from When Fred the Snake Goes To School

Fred helping at school

His Mum, the teacher and all the other kids were nervous when Jack the boy wanted to take his pet snake (Fred) to school. But he won everbody's hearts when he joined the games and especially when he bent himself into things they needed, like a waterslide by the pool. He also made himself into a soccer goal, and a jump rope! We were worried about his previously squished place when he became the tug of war rope, but the mend was stong. Everything is more fun in life when we all work together. Thanks for your example, Fred

Transition to school

One of the earliest important transitions in life is going to school for the first time. It is both exciting and scary. Fred was looking forward to going, but, a snake at school?? "Our teacher paled, but Mum’s entreaties soon prevailed. It really is no risk you take, for Fred’s a very friendly snake. Fred and I were rather scared, despite how carefully prepared. The other kids all stared at us when we boarded the school bus. Some I know were scared of snakes, their slivers and the hiss they make, But they will certainly soon find that this snake, Fred, is sweet and kind." Read on and find that Fred became the hero at school......

Fred the Snake at School!

After playing together all summer, the boy wanted to take Fred, the friendly snake, to school. The teacher and students were nervous at first, but Fred became very popular when he studied well and turned himself into fun things the children needed. What's Fred's favorite class? Recess, of course!

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