Northampton Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY CHRIS ZWEIFEL Local author and educator Bud Cole discusses his book PRESS PHOTO BY CHRIS ZWEIFEL Local author and educator Bud Cole discusses his book "The Mystery of Little Bear" recently at the Northampton Area Public Library.

Cole discusses his published book

Thursday, March 28, 2013 by CHRIS ZWEIFEL Special to The Press in Local News

As a child, educator and naturalist Bud Cole had quite an imagination.

In his first published book, "The Mystery of Little Bear," the main character, Buddy, has a vivid imagination as well.

Cole discussed the book at the Northampton Area Public Library Feb. 25 with the Cub Scouts and other community members in attendance.

As an elementary school teacher of 40 years, Cole knows that storybooks are "a fun way to educate."

The book, which was actually written eight to 10 years ago, is based on the adventures of Cole's own pet dog that he found while cross country skiing at Blue Mountain.

Cole never found the owner of the puppy, so the dog became part of the family and was aptly named "Blue." While Blue was too young to stay home alone, Cole took him in a basket to George Wolf Elementary School, where he was a teacher at the time. Blue was with him for 10 years.

The book covers the dog's first eight months with Cole. Ultimately, Blue became sick and died of cancer.

Cole said he "was sad and put the book aside" for some time.

"We never found out what kind of dog he was," he said.

It was Cole's desire to motivate children "to experience the many wonders of their natural environment" that prompted him to publish the paperback.

Readers will subtly learn about nature's marvels, as Cole weaves certain concepts of nature into the storyline. Fictitious Cherryville Hospital and Pennsville School are mentioned in the story, too.

As part of the presentation, Cole read from the upcoming sequel, which is expected to be released this summer. In the chapter titled, "Christmas Mischief," Little Bear thinks that the Christmas tree was a "magic tree that grew overnight" indoors.

Cole didn't want to give too much of the sequel away, but he did share that Little Bear accidentally gains entrance into the Roxy Theatre and gets into trouble.

"Did you ever see a puppy in a popcorn machine?" he asked.

"The Mystery of Little Bear" is dedicated to every dog owner and is available from amazon.com.