In 1981, the WNBA established the WNBA Pannell Awards to recognize and publicly applaud the work of booksellers who stimulate, promote and encourage children’s and young people’s interest in books. Lucile Micheels Pannell, a founding member of one of the WNBA chapters, was born in the late 1800s. A model bookwoman, her career included teaching in a one-room schoolhouse, working as a librarian, then managing the Hobby Horse Bookshop in Chicago’s Carson Pirie Scott department store from 1943 to 1953. Although she had no children of her own, Lucile loved reading to children and introducing them to the world of books. Chicago schools would sponsor field trips to the Hobby Horse Bookshop because children and teachers loved visiting with Lucile to listen to stories and learn about the world of books. This Award is our way to honor Lucile’s special role in WNBA’s history.
The 2013 nominees have been announced in a recent press release.
2012 Pannell Award Winners
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.
The 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.
Read about past winners
Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT
A Likely Story Children’s Bookstore, Alexandria,VA
Dutton’s Brentwood Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA
Halfway Down the Stairs Children’s Book Shop, Rochester, MI
Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC
Whale of a Tale, Irvine, CA
McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petosky, MI
Children’s Bookshop, Brookline, MA
All for Kids Books, Seattle, WA
Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA
Toad Hall Children’s Bookstore, Austin, TX
R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT
Enchanted Forest Books for Children, Dallas, TX
Edward T. Rabbit & Co., Richmond, VA
Barron’s Books, Longview, TX
Awards not given
Compass Rose Bookshop, Orleans, MA
Adventures for Kids, Ventura, CA
Kathy L. Patrick of Barron’s Books, Inc., Longview, TX
Shippack Children’s Books, Kippack, PA
Red & Black Books, Seattle, WA
Rosemary and Michael Stimola, A Child’s Story Teaneck, NJ
Janet E. Grojean, Little Professor Book Center,LaVista, NB
Rabbit Hill Children’s Bookstore, Hewlett, NY
The kids’ place, Marshall, MI
Children’s Book & Gift Market, Atlanta, GA
Judi’s Bookstore, Twin Falls, ID
1988 A Likely Story Children’s Bookstore, Alexandria, VA
1987 The Children’s Bookstore, Chicago, IL
1986 The Children’s Hour, Salt Lake City, UT
1985 Toad Hall Children’s Bookstore, Austin, TX
1984 R.M. Mills Bookstore, Nashville, TN
1983 OxCart Bookshop, Rochester, NY