Kids learn about the Underground Railroad in school, but there’s nothing like a visual to drive home a point. The Underground Railroad Escape to Freedom Game teaches kids how the escaped slaves fought their way to freedom. Players answer questions about African and African-American history as they navigate their way around the United States by moving pieces on a map. They learn about Safe-Houses along the Underground Railroad, as they trek their way across the country. Ages 6 and up. $17.99.www.blackheritagetoys.com.
This year as we mark a spectacular time in history, we also celebrate the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. In Abe’s honor, Sarah Thomson’s book, What Lincoln Said, helps educate young Americans about our 16th President. The picture book biography includes the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and Lincoln’s struggle during the Civil War to keep the country together. HarperCollins Publishers. Ages 6-9. $17.99. www.harpercollinschildrens.com.
It’s a common belief that facts set to music are easier to retain (think the alphabet song and other jingles we hold in our brains). Singer and songwriter Jon Sprout uses this simple method to highlight various accomplished citizens in his new CD, American Heroes #3.From Dr. Jonas Salk and Pocahontas to Thomas Jefferson and Cesar Chavez, Spout uses biographical anecdotes, historical facts, and personality traits set to lively, engaging music. $13.98.www.jonsprout.com.
Quilting has a long tradition for practical reasons, like saving money and reusing material to keep warm. But it also has a symbolic history.The new book, Stitchin’ and Pullin’, by Patricia McKissack, chronicles the quilting work of the African-American community at Gee’s Bend, Alabama. It tells the story of Baby Girl, who waits intently for her turn to take a seat at the quilting frame and learn. The actual quilts they made now hang in museums across the country, but illustrator Cozbi Cabrera offers beautifully painted versions. Random House. Ages 6-10. $17.99. www.randomhouse.com.