Mar. 18, 2024 | iCare Newsletter
by Bullseye Media

Dr. Touma Children’s Books

What started as bedtime stories that Dr. Jospeh Touma made up for his seven grandchildren led to a series of colorful children’s books that are benefiting the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital.

“Charlie’s Adventures” emerged from these stories Dr. Touma shared with his grandchildren during their formative years. His make-believe tales delighted the youngsters, who regularly asked Grandpa to tell them stories about Charlie. During these sessions, the grandkids would suggest changes to the tales, saying things like: “I don’t like this; let’s do it this way.”

“I always say I have the best consultants in the world,” Dr. Touma said at a book signing for the series last year. “Seven consultants who knew exactly what they liked and what they didn’t like, and that’s how the whole thing developed.”

Knowing when he started writing the stories that he wanted good to come from them, the Syrian native worked with the Children’s Hospital to help print the first 200 copies. All the proceeds benefit Hoops.

The 13 children’s books are about an eight-year-old boy named Charlie. The adventurous lad possesses a ton of curiosity and an imagination to match his fantasies. He talks with everything from computers to ants to cardinals, swims with dolphins, creates snow creatures, rescues a lost piglet, and rides on an airplane.

Charlie is a very curious boy, said Touma, and he tries to include a lesson for youngsters in each story. If he does something crazy, the physician has Charlie’s parents sit down and explain why he shouldn’t have done so.

Dr. Touma, who worked with retired Marshall University professor Mary Grassell to get the stories illustrated, said they are educational as well as funny.

“The lesson is understated so the kids don’t feel, ‘Well, the whole story is to teach us a lesson,’ but the message is clear in a nice way,” the physician told the Huntington Herald-Dispatch.

“His generosity is so appreciated,” said Kristi Arrowood, Executive Director of Mountain Health Foundations. “These stories will live on for new generations of children.”

The series is available for purchase at Cabell Huntington Hospital’s An Added Touch Gift Shop on the first floor and the Children’s Depot on the fifth floor.