MITTEN AWARD

The Mitten Award recognizes and promotes quality literature for youth in picture book format. First given in 1999 by the Children’s Services Division of the Michigan Library Association, the award is given annually to one children’s book originally published in the United States during the calendar year that has captured the attention of youth librarians throughout the State of Michigan for its ability to communicate through literature to an intended audience. The award selection work group is comprised of Michigan librarians who consider hundreds of children’s books annually to determine a winner.

Mitten Award Guidelines (pdf)

Submit a nomination for the 2021 Mitten Award using the online form:


2021 MITTEN Award Nomination Form

Mitten Award winner Seal - image of mittens in the shape of the state of MI

Mitten Award Seals

Download the Mitten Award seals to use at your library! Winner, Honor Book and Top Ten Title award seals are available for download here: MLA Mitten Award Seals 2020.pdf

 We also have graphics and handouts and we welcome and encourage you to use these in your library or on your library's website!

2020 Mitten Award

The 2020 Mitten Award Work Group scrutinized more than 168 picture books to select this year's Top Ten Titles, winning title and honor books. Collectively, work group members devoted more than 230 hours to reading and evaluating picture books to select the titles published in 2019 that best meet the criteria as books of especially commendable quality that exhibit venturesome creativity and reflect and encourage children’s interest in a unique or innovative fashion.

2020 Mitten Award Work Group

  • Chair: Amy Young, Clinton-Macomb Public Library
  • Vice-chair: Michael Golczynski, Ionia Community Library
  • Kimberlee Gardner, Rochester Hills Public Library
  • Laura Grant, Herrick District Library
  • Kristen Jayska, Livonia Public Library
  • Ashlee McClaughry, Bloomfield Township Library
  • Kathleen Merucci, Salem-South Lyon District Library
  • Kathleen Mitchell, Kent District Library
  • Jennifer Ryan, Howell Carnegie District Library
  • Ashten Wilkey, Kent District Library
Pictured left to right: Kimberlee Gardner, Ashlee McClaughry, Laura Grant, Kathleen Merucci, Amy Young, Kristen Jayska, Jen Ryan. Not pictured: Michael Golczynski, Kathleen Mitchell, Ashten Wilkey (Photo taken in 2019)

2020 Mitten Award Winner

The winner of the 2020 Mitten Award is The VERY Impatient Caterpillar, written and illustrated by Ross Burach and published by Scholastic Press.

The Very Impatient Caterpillar: Am I a Butterfly Yet? is a side-splitting tribute to a challenge many children face – being patient! Our hero is intrigued when his friends tell him they are going off to metamorphosize and he hurries to join them. However, when he learns that metamorphosizing is all about waiting, readers may wonder if he is up to the task. Young people will sympathize with his refrain, “Is it time yet?” and rejoice with him when it actually is.

The Mitten Work Group found this title award-worthy because it manages to weave a problem many children face – being patient – with science and comedy. The illustrations both extend the meaning of the text and increase the humor. It is a book that appeals to multiple age groups and has the potential to spark or extend interest in life sciences. Beyond that, it makes children laugh so they do not even realize they might be learning something – about both science and the benefits of exercising patience.

"The VERY Impatient Caterpillar: Am I a Butterfly Yet? by Ross Burach is a laugh-out-loud lesson on the importance of being patient," said 2020 Work Group Chair Amy Young, Clinton-Macomb Public Library. "Kids of all ages will sympathize with the lead character while at the same time learning a little something about life science. It’s not very often that STEM books and comedy mesh this well!"

2020 Mitten Award Honor Books

The 2020 Mitten Award Honor books include Who Wet My Pants, written by Bob Shea, illustrated by Zachariah Ohora and published by Little, Brown and Company; Fly! written and illustrated by Mark Teague and published by Beach Lane Books; Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story written by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal and published by Roaring Brook Press; and The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family written by Ibtihaj Muhammad & S.K. Ali, illustrated by Hatem Aly, and published by Little, Brown and Company.

Fly!
by Mark Teague

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story
by Kevin Noble Maillard, Juana Martinez-Neal

Who Wet My Pants?
by Bob Shea, illustrated by Zachariah OHora

The Proudest Blue
by Ibtihaj Muhammad, S.K. Ali, illustrated by Hatem Aly

2020 Mitten Award Top Ten Titles

Bloom Boom!
by April Pulley Sayre

Fly!
by Mark Teague

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story
by Kevin Noble Maillard, Juana Martinez-Neal

Hey, Water!

by Antoinette Portis

The Proudest Blue

by Ibtihaj Muhammad, S.K. Ali, illustrated by Hatem Aly

Truman
by Jean Reidy, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins

The Little Red Stroller
by Joshua Furst, illustrated by Katy Wu

The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop
by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Frank Morrison

The Very Impatient Caterpillar
by Ross Burach

Who Wet My Pants?
by Bob Shea, illustrated by Zachariah OHora

2020 Top Ten Titles List (In Random Order)

  • Bloom Boom! by April Pulley Sayre
  • Fly! by Mark Teague  
  • Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, Juana Martinez-Neal
  • Hey, Water! by Antoinette Portis     
  • The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad, S.K. Ali, illustrated by Hatem Aly
  • Truman by Jean Reidy, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
  • The Little Red Stroller by Joshua Furst, illustrated by Katy Wu
  • The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Frank Morrison             
  • The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach              
  • Who Wet My Pants? by Bob Shea, illustrated by Zachariah OHora

 

Past Mitten Award Winners and Honor Books

2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019

Mitten Award Winners and Honor Books - 1999 - 2017(pdf)

 


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