Bellingham author and publisher, MaryAnn Kohl, president of Bright Ring Publishing Inc., was honored at the 21st Annual Benjamin Franklin AwardsTM by IPBA, the Independent Book Publishers Association, in Recognition of Excellence in Independent Publishing. Kohl’s book won the Silver Benjamin Franklin AwardTM for her title, Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters, a book illustrated mainly by Bellingham area children.
IBPA honored Kohl in New York City on May 28, 2009 as part of the annual BookExpo America Trade Show. Named one of three finalists in the Education/Academic/Teaching category, Great American Artists for Kids ($18.95, July 2008) was recognized for impacting the creativity of children around the world through its full color format and innovative use of children’s original artworks. Terry Nathan, president of IBPA stated, “Kohl is one of the only publishers to win a Benjamin Franklin Award for each of her books published over the years – a remarkable achievement!” Hannah Kohl, Kohl’s daughter, was present to accept the award.
Judged by a panel of book industry experts including buyers, librarians, book critics, design experts, and independent publishing consultants, Benjamin Franklin Award TM winning books have been scrutinized by individuals involved in the very markets in which the books compete. 180 judges from throughout the publishing industry evaluated more than 1400 books in 54 categories from publishers both large and small. IBPA is the largest trade association in the USA, and represents over 3500 independent publishers.
Great American Artists for Kids: Hands-On Art Experiences in the Styles of Great American Masters (MaryAnn Kohl and Kim Solga, authors) is Kohl’s eighth book published by her company, Bright Ring Publishing, Inc. (1985) and her 21st authored book overall. Rebecca Van Slyke, grade two teacher in Lynden, Washington, has illustrated numerous books for Bright Ring, and was children’s art editor for this publication.