Peter, the author of Fred


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 tale was conceived long ago as a bedtime story 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 a special illustrator (Canadian Bonnie Lemaire) and published the first book “When Fred the Snake got Squished and Mended”.

Together they now have a series of nine 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.

Peter, the Doctor

Doctor Peter Cotton Headshot square

Peter Benjamin Cotton 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 (which he named) and was active in teaching. He attracted postgraduates from many countries, held numerous teaching courses, and pioneered live CCTV workshops.

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 in 1994 to become Professor of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina to initiate the Digestive Disease Center. He retired from clinical practice in 2012 but remains active in teaching and research. He 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 10 medical books. Practical Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (co-authored by Christopher Williams) is the standard teaching text, currently in its 8th Edition, and has been translated into 8 languages. He also recently published his memoirs called “The tunnel at the end of the light”, and a series of award-winning illustrated books for children about Fred the friendly snake.

Peter and Marion Cotton live happily on Dewees Island, South Carolina. Together they are blessed with 4 “children”, 8 grandchildren and 2 great grands. They also enjoy many friends, travel, wildlife and golf.

Bonnie, Our Illustrator

WELCOME! I'm Bonnie Lemaire. I began my career as a freelance illustrator with a promotional post card in 1989. I am a graduate of Ontario College of Art’s communication and design program. My first position as artist/designer was with Ganz and Brothers Canada. It was a valuable experience, catapulting me into a successful freelance career. I've seen my work utilized in many different projects, including home décor, giftware, sticker and toy design and children’s books.

My Website

Cristina, The Designer

Cristina Young is a graduate of Ringling College of Art + Design, and has been a graphic designer for over 30 years. She met Peter many moons ago while working in the marketing department at the Medical University of South Carolina, and has since collaborated with Bonnie and Peter on all nine Fred books to get their creative ideas from paper to print. When not in front of her computer, she is usually on the beach enjoying the waves or boating on the beautiful waterways of the Carolina Lowcountry.

My Website

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