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B is for Buckeye:
An Ohio Alphabet

B is for Buckeye: An Ohio Alphabet and it’s companion title, Cardinal Numbers: An Ohio Counting Book, delight readers and educators looking for a creative approach to learning about Ohio.

From the first page about Ohio’s many astronauts to the final letter, featuring the Toledo Zoo, where the only hippoquarium is on view, readers grasp a wide variety of fresh and unique facts.

The rhyme on the “U” page, highlighting Ohio’s important role in the Underground Railroad, goes like this:

Underground Railroad starts with U.
It had not train, no engine, not whistle that blew.
Hidden “stations” marked by secret clues and kind “conductors” led slaves
To safe houses they knew.

And here’s a sample of text taken from the informational sidebar appearing on each page:

The Underground Railroad was not a real train that ran on railroad tracks, but a transportation system made of people helping people. Established before the Civil War when slavery existed in southern states, the Underground Railroad transported slaves to freedom. Many secret paths wound through the countryside, starting at the Ohio River and curving north to Lake Erie. A candle in a window or a gourd beside a door would indicate that help and food awaited the runaways. These safe houses were called “stations” and the brave Ohioans who helped slaves were known as “conductors.” Slaves were not free until they reached Canada, on the other side of Lake Erie.

Ohio had many historic sites where slaves stayed; among them are the 1840s Hubbard House in Ashtabula and the Rankin House in Ripley.

Many famous Ohioans fought to free the slaves. Harriet Beecher Stowe of Cincinnati battled slavery with her pen when she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The Union’s most effective civil War generals--Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, Philip Sheridan and George Armstrong Custer--were all Ohioans.

Where was the War of 1812 fought in Ohio? What president from Ohio holds the record for serving the shortest term? Where is the largest military museum in the world? If any of these questions stump you, just look on the last page. That’s where you’ll find a “Basket of Buckeye Facts,” with answers to these and other questions that help tell Ohio’s story.