UTPB professor achieves dream of penning children’s book

University of Texas Permian Basin kinesiology professor Moran Sciamama-Saghiv poses with his recently published children's book "Pumpy and Pumpina." For more than 20 years, he dreamed of publishing a children's book. (Ruth Campbell/Odessa American)

For two decades, University of Texas Permian Basin kinesiology professor Moran Sciamama-Saghiv dreamed of writing a children’s book and now he has achieved it.

It’s called “Pumpy and Pumpina.” It takes children on a journey of what your heart goes through as you go through the day. It also weaves in a lot of science and values.

The boy character is named James because that’s the most common name in the U.S. and the girl’s name is Mary because that is the most common name for girls in the U.S., Sciamama-Saghiv said. James is African-American and Mary is white. Each of their hearts also is a character.

He added that there is a lot of science and values woven into the book. There also is safety, clocks where you can teach children about telling time, and other hidden and straightforward messages.

“For example, if you look carefully at the illustrations, they are not random. … Mary’s family is a single father family, which is uncommon, but I wanted people to address the idea of a single-parent family, and then also understand that there’s single fathers that are raising the family. James’ family is a mixed race family,” Sciamama-Saghiv said.

He also brought his own two dogs into the story.

“We wanted to show kids what happens to your heart when you’re happy; when you’re sad. Emotions, the importance of sleeping and dreaming; the importance of going to the doctor. … There’s fashion in here,” Sciamama-Saghiv said.

It also talks about the importance of eating healthy and nutritious foods.

This will be the first in a series of books and it took about a year to produce “Pumpy and Pumpina.”

Future books will be about professions, colors and animals. He plans to have them translated into other languages, as well.

“People see the cover. They just get sucked in. They’re very curious off the bat to see,” Sciamama-Saghiv said.

He and his wife, Jayme L. Kendall, also have merchandise available for sale at pumpyandpumpina.com. He notes on the website that he is thankful and blessed to have Jayme by his side.

Kendall also is the author and illustrator of a children’s book called “BEE a Honey BEE,” which can be found at ibeeahoneybee.com. She also has a website to showcase her graphic designs for print and web at jaymeous.com.

Pumpy & Pumpina is sold in hardcover at barnesandnoble.com, and shipped directly to you by Barnes & Noble. Simply choose the format you would like to purchase the book in, and press on the link. The eBook version is available on Amazon.