WNBA Announces Winners of 2008 Pannell Award
The Women’s National Book Association is proud to announce the winners of this year’s Lucile Micheels Pannell Award given annually since 1983 to two bookstores that excel in contributing to their communities in ways that bring books and young people together. The winner in the General Bookstore category is Kepler’s Books and Magazines in Menlo Park, CA; the winner in the Children’s Specialty Store category is The Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, VT. Honorable Mention is awarded to Vero Beach Book Center in Vero Beach, Fl.
A jury of five book industry professionals deliberated for four weeks, then selected the winners based on creativity, responsiveness to community needs and an understanding of young readers. Jurors noted that the staff at Kepler’s has done “an amazing job resurrecting a store that was on the verge of closing just three years ago.” With initiatives like their African Library Project, they are raising awareness of books for young people, not just in their community, but in parts of the world where children do not have books of their own. The Flying Pig Bookstore “is more than a bookstore” in that the owners—Elizabeth Bluemle and Josie Leavitt—”have created a place that gives back to everyone who wants to be part of the book community;” as well as sharing their knowledge and experience with other booksellers at national and regional organizations, such as the New England Children’s Booksellers Assn. and NEBA/NEIBA. The jury admired the creative programming at Vero Beach Book Center, like the Coral Reef which was designed in a way that customers young and old could learn while being entertained.
In addition to WNBA, the Pannell Award is underwritten by a generous gift from Penguin Young Readers Group. Each winner will receive a check for $1000 and a framed piece of original art by a children’s book illustrator. This year’s art was contributed by Janet Stevens, an award-winning illustrator of many books including her latest, Help Me, Mr. Mutt!; and Chris Van Dusen, illustrator of the bestselling Mercy Watson Series by Kate Dicamillo, including this summer’s Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig. The presentation of the awards will be at the “Celebration of Bookselling” at BEA on May 29, 2008 in Los Angeles.