By SAMANTHA SMYLIE
57th Street Books, located at 1301 E. 57th St., won the prestigious WNBA Pannell Award for excellence in children’s bookselling at BookExpo America.
The WNBA Pannell Award recognizes bookstores that nurture a love for reading and books among children and young adults. The award jury selected 57th Street Books for the store’s “exceptional passion and creativity.” The independent bookstore in Hyde Park received the award during BookExpo America’s Children’s Book and Author Breakfast on May 31, co-sponsored by the Women’s National Book Association and the Penguin Young Readers Group.
“We were overjoyed for, not just the accolade, but for the recognition of the community work that we strive to do. At 57th Street Books, for the last few years, we really tried to address our children’s programming from the vantage point of being the only full-service children’s bookstore on the South Side of Chicago,” explained Colin McDonald, marketing manager at 57th Street Books.
“We have kept in mind our really diverse community in what books we feature and display in terms of their representation of a diverse array of people and characters and the kinds of events programming that we offer,” said McDonald
The bookstore was given $1,000 and will receive an original piece of artwork from Jerry Pinkney, an illustrator and children’s book author who won the 2010 Caldecott Medal for U.S. picture book illustration. According to McDonald, since winning the award in late spring bookstore has seen an uptick in publishers who want to bring authors to the bookstore.