WNBA Announces 2011 Pannell Award Winners

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On Friday, May 13, the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) announced the winners of the 2011 WNBA Pannell Award, presented annually since 1983 to two bookstores that excel in contributing to their communities in ways that bring books and young people together. This year’s winner in the General Bookstore category is Queen Anne Books in Seattle; the winner in the Children’s Specialty Store category is Fairytales Bookstore & More in Nashville.

A jury of five book industry professionals selected the winners based on creativity, responsiveness to community needs, and an understanding of young readers.

Queen Anne was honored for its “clear understanding of the needs of young readers at different ages and stages,” for “its creative ways to reach them (in store, in schools, in libraries, in the community),” and for “not overlooking the oft-forgotten secret weapon, the parents.” The jury also commended the store for “reach[ing] out to children in foster homes and giv[ing] discounts for parent-child book groups,” and “the Bookworms Little League team.”

Fairytales Bookstore & More was praised for the “comprehensive approach it takes to involving kids in reading, from creative play and storytelling, to music, and visual arts.” Also noted was its daily story time, which “offers many ways for kids to engage with reading and books” and its attention to parents and their need to “relax and rejuvenate.”

Each winner will receive a check for $1,000 and a framed piece of original art by a children’s book illustrator. This year’s art is contributed by Caldecott Medal-winner Erin E. Stead from the upcoming book And then it’s spring, by Julie Fogliano, which will be published next February by Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook/Macmillan; and by Matthew Myers from Tyrannosaurus Dad by Liz Rosenberg, also published by Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook/Macmillan.

In addition to sponsorship by the WNBA, the Pannell Award is underwritten by the Penguin Young Readers Group.The presentation of the awards will be at the opening of the Children’s Book and Author Breakfast at BookExpo America on May 24 in New York.