Patrick Baker said once he had the idea to write a book, he couldn’t stop writing.
Baker, 23, who recently published his book, “Fuzzy the Bear,” uses forest animals to explore childhood themes such as bullying, miscommunication and friendship.
“Maybe, when the young kids who read this will grow up and want to prevent bullying,” said Baker.
The story follows Fuzzy the Bear through the woods as he looks for friends to join him for a walk. Fuzzy misinterprets his friend’s busyness as avoidance and walks further into the woods, only to have his loneliness compacted by Fox, who starts to pick on him. Eventually, Fox needs Fuzzy’s help and Fuzzy realizes he can show Fox he can be a good friend by helping Fox out - despite how he has been treated by Fox.
Baker, who graduated from Corning High School in 2009, said he was in the 10th grade when he was inspired to write after reading the book “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen.
The story of Hatchet takes place in the Canadian wilderness and influenced the forest setting and characters for “Fuzzy the Bear.”
“I was told in study hall to stop writing and read my book ‘Hatchet,’ said Baker. “I kept writing and got in trouble and sent to the office.”
Baker, who is a volunteer firefighter for Creston Fire Department and the son of Bill and Sherrie Baker of Creston, dedicated his book to his grandmother, Patricia Kennedy of Corning, who died in 2011.
“My grandmother helped me edit the book,” said Baker. “We made our own book out of it and put it away in a filing cabinet. When I moved back to Creston, I was moving stuff back into my room and found it and thought to see what it would take to publish it.”
Baker also enlisted the help of his friend Melissa Booth of Lenox to illustrate his story.
“Fuzzy the Bear” is now available on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and trafford.com.
Baker will be reading “Fuzzy the Bear” 6 p.m. June 17 at Gibson Memorial Library.