25% off all my novels

All parents are now Home School teachers. Can't get out for a home school materials convention? I was to display at the Fort Wayne convention in May. For your convenience, all my novels are 25% off now until the end of the summer. Go to: www.dorisgainesrapp.com/index.html. Link below.

Tucker McBride

Return to a time when a boy could be a boy, when life was clearer from the top branch of a tree, when a kid could trade anger and disappointment for action and adventure, when the whole neighborhood was his playground, and the sloppy kiss from a dog could make everything right.


Friday, February 12, 2021

Valentine - Shmalentine

 Sunday is Valentine's day. A valentine card is a picture and a poem. Have some fun and create a funny card to hang on your wall or to send to a friend. 

Now, don't let a rhyming poem frighten you. I'll give you a few couplets to start. Use them or create your own.             dog - frog,  small - call,  tap - snap,  sat - hat, day - play,  shirt - dirt,  camp - stamp,  hair - stare.

For the cover, draw, paint, cut and paste, or create the picture for the outside any way you want to.

At first, I thought of a cut and paste cover for my book, Tucker McBride. I used a colorful file folder to create a vivid blue for the background. Then, I cut pieces of old Christmas wrappings and construction paper, and pasted them into a possible cover. Let me show you how much fun I had.


Let's write a Valentine poem that would describe the picture you create. If you get stuck with a word, you can go on Google and type in, words that rhyme with baseball . . . or any other word you are trying to think of an appropriate rhyme. Feel free to use any of the couplets I already suggested. 

This is the poem I just created to go with the picture I posted here.

                                                    On my hammock in the sky
                                                    Large black birds came flying by.
                                                    Thought of you and hoped you'd climb
                                                    To my nest, please friend, be mine.

It's your project. Have fun with it. Create your own. It can't be wrong. It's your creation. 

Have a very Happy Valentine's Day. 


Monday, February 8, 2021

A Dog in the House

As you know from reading the first book, Tucker McBride, Gramma used Joe, the war dog, for many things. She sent him across the street to the grocery store with a note and money attached to his collar. The grocer tied a package of hamburger to the leather and Joe brought it safely home.

The new puppy at our house is smart and learning many new things. We put an old alarm clock on top of her sleeping crate, so she could hear the beat of her momma's heart. Tuckie pushed her tiny paw through an opening in the top and turned on the alarm tab. We were awakened at 4:30 AM that morning. 

Yesterday, my husband helped Tuckie watch the Puppy Bowl, before the Super Bowl. She was fascinated.

Write a paragraph about something special your dog did and draw a picture that illustrates it. If you don't have a dog, have fun writing a creative paragraph about a smart dog who does clever things. Enjoy yourself. Writing is great fun.



Thursday, November 26, 2020

A Black Friday Surprise Makes a Great Gift Project

 I was out of my small picture book, Lincoln's Christmas Mouse. Each year, I put one in each of our Christmas Box ministry shoeboxes. So, I did what Gramma would have done and made something special. I printed the black and white pictures from the original computer document. The small coloring book I created with binder rings fits perfectly into some child's Christmas joy. The few I ordered will be added to the book spinner I have at Whimzy's in Huntington, and will be available on Black Friday, November 27. (Whimzy - 45 Etna Avenue, Huntington, Indiana)


In this unique year, with unique events, you too may need to create a few unique presents for your unique children. You could make your own coloring book for the children in your life. I created several that will also be available on my book spinner at Whimzy's. 

Decide on a theme. You could use the camera in your cell phone and take a series of pictures of your family pet. I printed mine on tag paper. You may choose a heavy weight printer paper. Next, send them to your computer and change them to black and white.   





Fun can be added by converting the pictures into cartoons. There are various apps on line for your use. The photos are best if they are images of people the children know, pets and other animals in their neighborhood, school scenes, or locations around home. 

Collect your images, decide on a cover from those you've selected, create a title, place them two-to-a- page, print all pages, cut the paper in half, punch two holes on the left, then slip the metal binder rings into the holes like I did with the Lincoln's Christmas Mouse Coloring Book example above.

Have fun. Hand crafted gifts are a privilege to receive. You may want to include a fresh, new box of crayons with the book. Nothing is more exciting than a twenty-four box of pristine crayons.

Doris Gaines Rapp
Copyright 2020 Doris Gaines Rapp

Monday, October 26, 2020

A Penny Here, A Penny There

 Have you ever seen someone ride one of these bicycles? 

These bikes were first popular in the 1870s and 1880s. In Tucker McBride's Many Lives, Tucker's friend Freddie rode up to the big white house on the corner on his father's penny-farthing, or high-wheeler bicycle. The penny-farthing was the first machine to be called a bicycle.

The 52, 54, or even 56 inch front wheel made the ride smoother. You were also able to cover a lot of road in a short time. But if you hit a stone or other object, you'd fly head-over-shoelaces forward. The boneshaker was a challenge to get on. How do you think you would get to the seat on the penny-farthing? 

Image you were riding your high-wheeler around your neighborhood. What could you see from up there? What would friends and neighbors say about your bicycle? What would be the most fun about riding a penny-farthing? What if you had to pick up a loaf of bread for Mom; how would you carry it? How would you get off the bicycle? 

If you were a girl in 1870, you would wear a long skirt. If a boy, you're have on knickers. 

 You wouldn't get your pant legs caught in the wooden spokes of the large wheel. What could a girl do to protect her clothing and keep her from falling?

Brainstorm about it. When you brainstorm, you list as many possibilities as you can dream up. There are no wrong ideas. Jot down your answers. Write a short story about them. Or, draw a picture to illustrate your great thoughts. Most of all, have fun.

Doris Gaines Rapp

Copyright 2020 Doris Gaines Rapp, PhD.



Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Cozy Spot

In my novels, Tucker McBride and Tucker McBride's Many Lives, Grandpop sat in his Morris chair everyday, to read the newspaper, listen to the radio, or do his crossword puzzles. Since it could recline, it was perfect for his morning nap. No one in the family raced to see if they could beat him to it. That simply wasn't done. It was Grandpop's chair.

Last week we went to Shipshewana, Indiana. I found this great Mission style chair, like Grandpop's Morris chair, in the Blue Gate Restaurant. 


When I was a child, my cousin's grandfather also had a Morris chair. When I would spend the day with Judi, we would go in the TV room and say "Hi" to Mr. Kress. Although I never sat in one, the old chair, with the vertical slates down the side has several meanings for me.

What kind of furniture reminds you of family or fond memories from the past? Maybe it's a piano, a kitchen table, or a studio couch. Draw a picture of it and write a story that explains why it is special to you. See it in your mind, then simply copy that picture onto paper, and describe a time when the chair had a special use.

Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Copyright 2020 Doris Gaines Rapp

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

What Would You Put In It ?

 

Gramma put cookies in a crock like these. She'd cover the cookies with waxed paper before putting on the lid. Also, she had lard stored in one. Lard is fat rendered, or cooked down, from a pig. She used the lard like you would use vegetable oil, butter, or Crisco.

The crocks are called stoneware which is a durable ceramic or pottery fired to a high degree and is water-tight. Grandpop made tops for the crocks out of wood he stored in the upper, "attic" of his workshop. If the crock had an indented ridge, he made the lid to fit inside. If it didn't, he designed the lid to fit over the top and grab the outside edge.

If you had a crock with a lid, what would you store in it? It can be anything, except lard or cookies. Think about something that would fit in the crock that would measure about a ten inches high and about eight inches in diameter (across). It doesn't have to be food. The crock is yours to fill with whatever you want.

Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Copyright 2020 Doris Gaines Rapp

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Getting to Know You

So you want to be a TV interviewer and meet people? 

When Tucker and his friends go on their adventure, they meet a very interesting girl. As they walk her home one day, they begin to talk. By the time they get to her house, they've made a really good friend.

People build good friendships by getting to know others. Sharing about yourself and asking about them, is how we develop friendships. Remember, it's a conversation. You both get to talk. And, you share the talk-time. If there are two of you in the conversation, you talk one-half of the time. If three friends are enjoying a chat, your talk-time is one-third of the time. You get the idea. The important thing is, you get to know them while being honest in return.

You know it isn't polite to ask personal questions like --- "How much money does your mother earn?" Or, job-related questions such as --- "Has your dad found out any secrets about his boss?" Remember, if a friend asks you somethings you don't want to talk about, you can politely refuse to answer. Something like, "I'm not ready to talk about that now," is a refusal to speak, without being nasty.

Gramma would warn Tucker about telling people a family secret. There are some things best kept in the family. Like maybe one of your grandparents can't remember things anymore. Or, a parent just got a big raise in pay. Gramma would say, "Now, this stays in the family." Don't worry, those secrets won't keep you from making friends by sharing who you are and getting to know them.

For today's activity, you are going to pretend you're a TV newscaster. You are going to do a parrot-interview with the "new student" at your school. When you ask them a question, they get to ask you a similar one in return, or a different one they can think of. Write down their answers on the blank lines. Remember, you're from WHO-TV Station and the other person is the Interviewee. When you're finished, each of you introduce the person to others using all the information they just told you. The interviewee will have a form also. They too can be a WHO-TV newscaster, answering your questions and asking their own. On their sheet, they will fill out the WHO-TV sections too. You might need a script. Here we go:

WHO-TV:       Tell me when you moved to town.

                        ___________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       How many brothers and sisters do you have?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       Do you play a musical instrument? Which one?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       How about sports? Do you play, watch, or both?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       If you get to go Trick-or-Treating, what will you wear?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       What are you thankful for?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       Some people are afraid of the dark. What are you afraid of?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

WHO-TV:       Anything else you want to tell me?

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Interviewee's Question:

                        ____________________________________________________________________

Now, introduce your "new friend" to others. They will introduce you, too.


Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Copyright 2020 Doris Gaines Rapp

Also: https://lengthofdaystrilogy.blosgspot.com

Valentine - Shmalentine

 Sunday is Valentine's day. A valentine card is a picture and a poem. Have some fun and create a funny card to hang on your wall or to s...