When Fred the Snake and Friends Explore USA-Central

Children - Adventure
48 Pages
Reviewed on 04/10/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Peter Cotton is a retired physician living on Dewees Island in South Carolina, writing books for young children about Fred the snake and his friends. Peter grew up in England where the first story was conceived long ago as a bedtime tale for his then young children about how (not) to cross the road. When they had their kids, they asked what happened to "Fred-Fred". Peter teamed up with an awesome illustrator (Canadian Bonnie Lemaire) and published the first book “When Fred the Snake got Squished and Mended”. Together they now have a series of eight popular award-winning books, having fun in rhyme with Jungle Jim, Perdy and Jack and several animal friends. They go to school, welcome Jungle Jim, try camping, visit the beach, tour Charleston and recently have been exploring the sights of USA. Peter’s books have received numerous 5-star reviews (“move over Lewis Carroll”) and a Mom’s choice gold award. Peter enjoys presenting Fred at schools.

When not busy with Fred’s adventures, Peter travels widely to lecture, to enjoy his family, and to play golf. He reflects on life, and on his career as a Professor of Gastroenterology, in his blogs, and in his published memoirs “The Tunnel at the End of the Light”.

Peter says that he was not named after a rabbit.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

There is nothing more joyous in life than traveling to places you've never been before and exploring them with your friends. So hop on for an exciting adventure across America in When Fred the Snake and Friends Explore USA-Central. Written by Peter Cotton with colorful illustrations by Bonnie Lemaire, the story follows Fred, an adventure-loving snake who loves traveling with his friends. Join Fred and his friends as they visit the rodeo in Texas, ride to Mount Rushmore on bicycles with motors to see the former US presidents, and are forced to take shelter during a storm, pan for gold in Durango, fly over the Grand Canyon in Utah in a helicopter, take a trip to Apache Nation, and see a circus show in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Fred and Bernadette finally get married.

Traveling to other places makes you appreciate the different cultures and customs and gives you a taste of exotic locales with wildly varied climates and topography. Explore America in all its glory, from the rodeos of Dallas to the glitz and dazzle of Las Vegas in this absorbing picture book that makes you want to pack your bags and leave for your favorite holiday destination. When Fred the Snake and Friends Explore USA-Central is a children's adventure that even adults can enjoy. Peter Cotton's rhyming verses, combined with Bonnie Lemaire's vibrant illustrations, make the story all the more engaging and entertaining. A must-read for all the adventure lovers out there.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Fred the Snake and his friends are off on another adventure. Fred the Snake and Friends Explore USA-Central by Peter Cotton tells readers that they have explored many parts of the United States, but this time, they’re heading west. They shop in Dallas and visit the Alamo in San Antonio, the site of a famous battle between the United States and Mexico. They visit a rodeo and they enjoy the bucking broncos while dressed like cowboys. Their journey takes them to Mount Rushmore where they see the faces of past presidents carved in stone on the mountainside. They carry on to Yellowstone and the canyons, and they even pan for gold in Durango. It’s a grand adventure, full of learning opportunities as they explore not only their country but also their country’s history.

Peter Cotton’s picture book When Fred the Snake and Friends Explore USA- Central is another installment in the Fred the Snake series. Exploring different parts of the USA and learning important skills for young people, this series is a great educational tool, as well as an entertaining read. Told mostly in rhyming verse, the lyrical journey is a compelling historical adventure. The bright, bold, colorful illustrations add another dimension to the developing plot and help move the story along. The story is heartwarming and the characters are full of fun and laughter. They all get along and work, play, and travel well together. This book will open young readers’ minds to the wonderful history that surrounds them and the many sights they have yet to explore. Loved it.

Joe Wisinski

When Fred the Snake and Friends Explore USA-Central by Peter Cotton is an adventure book for children. It’s the eighth book about Fred the Snake. In this installment, Fred and his friends are traveling across the central part of the United States, starting in Texas. Next, they head north to visit Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park. Then they go south to see the Grand Canyon and end up in the Las Vegas area. Fred and his girlfriend Bernadette get married in Vegas, and the friends go on a celebratory boat ride on Lake Mead. In addition to the famous tourist destinations, the friends stop at several other places that, although less well known, are interesting locations to visit. Written in rhymes, it briefly describes what the friends see in each area they visit. The book is illustrated by Bonnie Lemaire.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading When Fred the Snake and Friends Explore USA-Central by Peter Cotton. I’m sure my children would have liked the story when they were young, too. I like how Cotton describes each place the friends visit; this is just enough to teach children something about each stop without going over their heads with unnecessary details. You will enjoy the rhyming, which is never forced or unnatural. The illustrations by Bonnie Lemaire are charming, too, with each being appropriate and descriptive of the area being visited. Although Cotton doesn’t say what ages he intends his story for, it would be suitable for those just learning to read and for younger children who need to have a story read to them. I recommend it to children, parents, and grandparents.