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Local Author: Love for Kids Inspired New Children’s Book

Dog Book

A Bethlehem-based psychologist whose practice is the Center Street Center, Saucon Valley resident Tracy E. Hill, Ph.D. is a woman who isn’t afraid to wear many hats. Recently, she added another one–published children’s author–to her already impressive collection of chapeaux.

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Hill Book Dog

Author and local resident Tracy Hill is promoting her new book, “The Dog Who Wanted to Go to Church,” published earlier this year. Above, Hill signs copies of the book at the Saucon Valley Farmers Market in Hellertown.

A Bethlehem-based psychologist whose practice is the Center Street Center, Saucon Valley resident Tracy E. Hill, Ph.D. is a woman who isn’t afraid to wear many hats. Recently, she added another one–published children’s author–to her already impressive collection of chapeaux.

“I love kids,” Hill said during a recent interview, adding that her affection for little ones has only grown deeper now that she’s a grandmother.

Her new book, “The Dog Who Wanted to Go to Church” (MGS Press), was at least partly influenced by this life-changing event. Another influence, she said, was the pandemic, when many people struggled to stay connected with each other.

Richly illustrated by Maria Grishkevich, “The Dog Who Wanted to Go to Church” tells the story of Dorado, a dog who day after day sits outside the door of a church on a small Caribbean island. Eventually, he meets a kindly woman named Ann, who like him is on a journey of discovery.

Hill pointed out that although Ann isn’t meant to represent her, some of her own life experiences are reflected in the book’s themes and its use of anthropomorphism.

She is an animal lover–with a dog named Sigmund Freud–and she once lived in tropical Costa Rica.

Hill also believes strongly in the importance of reading to kids; something she said is becoming “a dying art” due to technology’s influence on how children learn.

When her own children were small, Hill said she followed the “Four B’s” regimen with them: Bottle, Bath, Book and Bed. And when her son recently became a father for the first time, she impressed upon him the fundamental importance of these activities–including reading–for parent-child bonding.

It’s with this goal of encouraging reading in mind that she is working on a series of books called The Curious Tales of Six Chicks, which she said will be based on the six chickens she has at home.

“I find people fascinating. I find nature fascinating,” she said. “I’m in the profession I am because of this.”

Hill is also hoping to connect with parents and others in the community by reading her book to kids at libraries. She participated in a reading at the Hellertown Area Library in the fall, and said she’s been in touch with local schools and churches about possibly bringing her story to life and sharing the joy of discovery with young minds at future readings featuring Dorado’s inspiring story.

For more information or to contact Hill about arranging a reading or book-signing, email her at th***@ce****************.com or call 484-896-9161.

Dog Book

“The Dog Who Wanted to Go to Church” is a new children’s book written by Bethlehem psychologist Tracy E. Hill, Ph.D., and illustrated by Maria Grishkevich. The book can be purchased online. (Credit: MGS Press, LLC)

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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at josh@sauconsource.com.

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