2012 WNBA Pannell Award

WNBA Announces Winners of 2012 WNBA Pannell Award

The Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) is proud to announce the winners of this year’s WNBA Pannell Award given annually since 1983 to two bookstores that excel in contributing to their communities to bring books and young people together. The winner in the General Bookstore category is Book Beat in Oak Park, MI; the winner in the Children’s Specialty Store category is Monkey See, Monkey Do . . . Children’s Bookstore, Clarence, NY.

A jury of five book industry professionals, after deliberating for four weeks, selected the winners based on creativity, responsiveness to community needs, and an understanding of young readers. Jurors expressed admiration for all the nominated stores and their comments on the winners revolved around how innovative they are in connecting to the communities they serve.

Book Beat was lauded for its “passion and true understanding of children’s books and young readers,” for its “tremendous success as an independent haven within a tough urban environment,” and for going “beyond expectation to support and expand children’s and YA services, programs, and events.” Also impressive is the store’s initiation of the celebration of International Peace Day in local schools.

· Monkey See, Monkey Do was commended for its enthusiastic and innovative approaches to getting kids engaged with reading. According to one juror: “I love the joyous tone this bookstore sets in all of its programs – and there are many! Eight weeks of summer camps, 300 children, 43 camps, is truly impressive.” Other jurors lauded its active book clubs, reading/writing/craft programs, and its “spirit of entrepreneurship, looking for ways to make money not just from book sales.”

In addition to sponsorship by the 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 the art will be contributed by Jenni Desmond, whose book Red Cat, Blue Cat will be published by Blue Apple Books (fall 2012), and George Ford (the first illustrator to win the Coretta Scott King Book Award in 1974) from Bright Eyes, Brown Skin (Just Us Books 1990), which won the Ben Franklin Award for illustration in 1991.

Jurors this year included Emma D. Dryden, children’s editorial & publishing consultant with drydenbks.com; Kelli Chipponeri, executive editor/children’s at Chronicle Books; Yolanda Scott, editorial director, Charlesbridge; Manuela Soares, lecturer and director of the Graduate Seminar, Pace University’s Publishing Program; and Gail Vinett, lead buyer, Ingram Content Group.

Nominations this year spanned all regions of the country. Made by authors, editors, book distributors, sales reps, and just plain admirers, the nominations illustrate a healthy support of independent bookselling and its importance in promoting the development of future readers.

In addition to the winners, the nominees included, in the General Bookstore category: Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL; Lake Forest Bookstore, Lake Forest, IL; Mrs. Figs’ Bookworm, Camarillo, CA; Old Books on Front Street, Wilmington, NC; and Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO; and in the Children’s Specialty category: Alamosa Books, Albuquerque, NM; Books of Wonder, New York, NY; Bookworm Central, Manassas, VA; Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, MN; and Spellbound, Asheville, NC.

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