WNBA Picks Bookstore Winners of Parnell Award
The Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) announced the winners of the Parnell Award. The WNBA gives the prize to bookstores that excel in promoting books to young people. The jurors look for creativity and responsiveness to the community especially in today’s challenging economic times. The bookstore receives $1,000 and a framed piece of original art from a children’s book illustrator. Here are this year’s winners:
General Bookstore Winner: Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati, OH The jurors said that Joseph-Beth’s citywide reading project, Small Fries: A Kids’ Cookbook benefiting a children’s hospital and Reading Reindeer gift tree demonstrated what could done for the community without costing a lot.
I checked out their website and if I lived in Cincinnati, I’d camp at Joseph-Beth due to all of their wonderful events. The offerings are just as strong in the kid department. First off, May 14th is educator discount night when teachers will receive an extra 20% off. Not a teacher? You’re not excluded because starting the next day, May 15th, is the Kid’s Bargain Book Blowout when thousands of books will be reduced, some as low at $1.50. My favorite kid offering, an entire link dedicated to “Harry Potter Withdrawal Books.”
General Bookstore Honorable Mention: That Bookstore in Blytheville (TBIB) in Byltheville, AR The jurors “applauded [TBIB] for its Head Start classroom reading program, as well as its wide reach of programs into the community connecting with all ages at multiple venues.”
From a quick Internet search, this store seems to be an Arkansas treasure. The website describes a lovely atmosphere, “you can relax in a rocking chair next to a wood stove, engage in conversation about the book you’ve just read or enjoy a spontaneous reading of the new favorite children’s book of the day.”
Chidlren’s Specialty Bookstore: Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop in LaVerne, CA The store impressed the jurors with its young authors contest and use of outside venues (libraries, churches, etc.) to reach more children, especially at a time when many such programs are being eliminated.
In all honesty, it’s hard to know where to start this bookstore offers so much to the community. Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop provides:
- book fairs for schools of all levels
- annual writing contest for youth
- Advanced Reader’s Book Club for three age groups and opportunities to review the books
- library services including ordering, advising and fundraising
- teacher resources including discounts and class visits
Claire’s daughter and my daughter would be ecstatic to have this store close by. If you’re near any of these exceptional stores, stop by, then write a quick review and send it to us, we’d love to hear of your personal experience.