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 2023 Mitten Award using the online form:

2023 MITTEN Award Nomination Form 

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: (To download, right-click on the seal and save it as an image.)


2022 Mitten Award Winner

The winner of the 2022 Mitten Award is Milo Imagines the World written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson, and published by Putnam Publishers.

Milo Imagines the World brings the reader on a gentle journey that examines the way we see the world, with illustrations that shift from broad views of scenes to what we might see through Milo’s eyes as he sketches imagined scenes in his journal. The story can hold appeal for various ages of children. The illustrations and text complement one another to allow for a broad range and depth of interpretation that ultimately invites the reader to consider their own notions about Milo and his destination. Things are not always as they seem, and our diverse world will benefit from this beautiful, contemplative story.

"The Mitten Award Committee engaged in rigorous and thoughtful conversation surrounding a broad range of picture books with fresh perspectives on our country and world, including many impressive works of fiction, biographies, and engaging styles of storytelling. Milo Imagines the World, which landed on our consideration list at the beginning of our service term, was a story that kept creeping back into our conversation throughout the year," said Adrienne Baker, 2022 Mitten Award Workgroup Chair.

“Its well-rounded and fresh take on one boy’s physical and mental journey placed it at the top of our lists time and time again and was even deemed, “perfect,” by many committee members. We are grateful to Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson for bringing this important tale to life in our libraries, bookshelves, and ultimately, the hands of our young Michiganders.”

MLA announced the winners and honor books of the 2022 Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! Awards on Friday, May 27 at the MLA 2022 Youth Literary Awards. The awards selection group members worked throughout the year spending thousands of hours reading, reviewing and ranking hundreds of books to determine the top titles published in 2021. Watch the announcement below! 

2022 Mitten Award Winner

Milo Imagines the World

Milo Imagines the World 
By Matt de la Pena, Illustrated by Christian Robinson

2022 Mitten Award Top Ten Titles

(Listed in random order) 

Milo Imagines the World 
Author: Matt de la Peña 
Illustrator: Christian Robinson 
Publisher: Putnam Publishers

Out of Nowhere 
Author: Chris Naylor-Ballesteros 
Illustrator: Chris Naylor-Ballesteros 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Time for Bed, Old House 
Author: Janet Costa Bates 
Illustrator: A.G. Ford 
Publisher: Candlewick

We All Play 
Author: Julie Flett 
Illustrator: Julie Flett 
Publisher: Greystone Books

Best Day Ever! 
Author: Marilyn Singer 
Illustrator: Leah Nixon 
Publisher: Clarion

Dumplings for Lili 
Author: Melissa Iwai 
Illustrator: Melissa Iwai 
Publisher: Norton Young Readers 

Looking for a Jumbie 
Author: Tracey Baptiste 
Illustrator: Amber Ren 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray 

Areli is a Dreamer: A True Story by Areli Morales, a DACA Recipient 
Author: Areli Morales 
Illustrator: Luisa Uribe 
Publisher: Random House Studio

The Midnight Fair 
Author: Gideon Sterer 
Illustrator: Mariachiara Di Giorgio 
Publisher: Candlewick Press

Dad Bakes 
Author: Katie Yamasaki 
Illustrator: Katie Yamasaki 
Publisher: Norton Young Readers


Past Mitten Award Winners and Honor Books

2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021

Mitten Award Winners and Honor Books (pdf)

Mitten Award home


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