KC Public Library Blog

Book Reviews

How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting by Mei-Ling Hopgood

How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm

Shortly after we brought our daughter home, a friend recommended Mei-Ling Hopgood’s How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm. I wasn’t prepared for what a fun and wild ride I was embarking on with this book.

Join Us at Advocacy Day in Jefferson City! - Rescheduled for March 4th!

Due to the snow this event has been rescheduled for March 4th!

This is an all day trip where you will tour the capitol and meet with your representatives to make REAL CHANGE!

Librarians, library trustees and friends from across Missouri come together for the Missouri Library Association's Advocacy Day to meet with State Representatives and Senators to discuss the importance of all libraries and their contributions to the lives of Missourians.

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!

What holiday coming up is filled with dragon dances, fire-crackers, long-noodles, and gifts of red envelopes filled with money? Chinese New Year! There multiple choices for those who want to celebrate this holiday via the power of books. Here are a few festive options:

Program Notes: Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Only Angels Have Wings movie poster

Only Angels Have Wings was made under studio conditions. Yet it doesn’t seem artificial. The emotions feel real, the dialogue sharp and authentic, the characters interesting. It’s a classic example of how “Hollywood phony” can be more satisfying than realism.

One Step at a Time

March: Book One

A personal memoir carries a glance into American history. Illustrate this story as a graphic novel. When these elements blend, it takes readers back in time. Here, we travel sixty years. We join those central to the Civil Rights movement, watch the sit-ins, and ask ourselves, “Do I have the courage that they did?”

The Annexation That Wasn’t

Robert T. Van Horn

January 21, 1879: The Kansas Senate approves a proposal to move the state border eastward in order to annex Kansas City, a plan that is blocked by the Missouri legislature.

Book Reviews

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet

Doyle did not invent the detective story or the mystery novel, but he did establish something of a template in his stories of the brilliant, but quirky, Sherlock Holmes.

Program Notes: Idiot’s Delight (1939)

Idiot’s Delight movie poster

Idiot’s Delight features Clark Gable’s only on-screen singing/dancing performance. It was very timely film in 1939. Today, not so much. Still, as one of that year’s hits it’s part of our year-long film series Hollywood’s Greatest Year.

Bowled Over

Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs

January 15, 1967: The Kansas City Chiefs battle the Green Bay Packers in front of 63,036 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum and another 60 million on television, losing the game 35 to 10 (in what will become known as Super Bowl I).

The "Godmother of Guadalupe"

Dorothy Gallagher with children

January 8, 1894: Dorothy Gallagher, who becomes a founder of the Guadalupe Center at 1015 West 23rd Street to aid Mexican immigrants, is born in Kansas City.

Program Notes: Bachelor Mother (1939)

Bachelor Mother movie poster

Bachelor Mother (1939) is a prime example of a production that cannily employed comedy to dance through forbidden territory. Ginger Rogers got to show off her comic chops and an impeccable sense of timing.

Book Reviews

My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams

My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams

I still find myself fascinated with the correspondence between John Adams and his lady. While My Dearest Friend is not the first collection of their correspondence, the collection, covering the entirety of the relationship between John and Abigail, is one of the most complete selections.

We Are the World

Multiculturalism is a complex concept, and a seven-syllable word, to boot. Little kids might not be able to say it, let alone understand it. How does a kid in preschool wrap his or her head around it? Luckily, there are a few books that take this abstract idea and make it really accessible. Here are three that I like.

Malala’s Brave Example

Malala Yousafzai: Education Activist by Rebecca Rowell

Can teens make a difference? Anyone who says “no” hasn’t heard of Malala Yousafzai. The sixteen year survived a bullet to her head a little over a year ago. Why? She spoke out about the importance of girls being educated, something that the Taliban did not allow. Now that she is out of the hospital and living in England, she continues vocally attesting to girls’ right to attend school.

Program Notes: Ninotchka (1939)

Ninotchka movie poster

For most of her career, the great Swedish star Greta Garbo was known as a dramatic actress. A tragic actress, in fact. Few, then, were prepared for 1939’s brilliant comedy Ninotchka.