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)
Mitten Award Nomination Form (pdf)

2018 Mitten Award

The 2018 Mitten Award Work Group scrutinized more than 250 picture books to select this year's winning title and honor books. "I am very proud of the work, thoughtfulness, and collaboration that this year's group put into the reviewing and selection process," said Mitten Work Group Chair Audra Eddy. Collectively, Mitten Work Group members devoted nearly 500 hours to reading and evaluating picture books to select the titles that best combined and mostly successfully displayed the criteria deemed most important to the picture book format. The work group read throughout the year to narrow selections to the Top Ten Titles and determine the winning title and honor books. At the 2018 Spring Institute Conference, the Mitten Top Ten Titles were announced. The winning title and honor books were announced at the 2018 MLA Annual Conference.

2018 Mitten Award Top Ten

Download the 2018 Mitten Top Ten Bookmark

  • A Perfect Day by Lane Smith
  • After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat
  • Balderdash!: John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
  • Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper
  • Bob, Not Bob! by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Matthew Cordell
  • Sergeant Reckless: The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero by Patricia McCormick, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
  • The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
  • Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Sydney Smith
  • Windows by Julia Denos, illustrated by E.B. Goodale
  • Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Richard Jones

2018 MLA Mitten Award Winner and Honor Books

The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse Named 2018 MLA Mitten Award Winner

The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen book cover

The Michigan Library Association (MLA) is pleased to announce The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, published 2017 by Candlewick Press, is the winner of the 2018 MLA Mitten Award.

One morning, mouse gets gobbled up by a hungry wolf. Inside the wolf’s stomach, mouse meets duck who has figured out how to make the very best of his situation. “I may have been swallowed, but I have no intention of being eaten.” Mouse, too, discovers that living inside wolf’s stomach has its benefits. All is well for the two swallowed ones (not so much for wolf who gets a belly ache), until a hunter comes along and aims for the wolf. Lives are saved, the hunter flees, and – as in a pourquoi tale – we learn why the wolf still howls to this day.

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse delights the imagination with its humor and wit, rich vocabulary, pacing, and balance of words with images while eliciting an invitation to explore folklore. The text and illustrations capture the timeless literary feel of a traditional tale while venturing into new territory and the unexpected,” said Mitten Work Group Chair Audra Eddy. “Readers are brought into the story (and into the belly of the wolf!) and offered a place where beeswax candles are lit by a duck, a mouse carries a hockey stick, and a wolf suffers because of impromptu dance parties. Alongside the absurdity and fun, the tale provokes questions regarding bravery and cowardice, sacrifice and selfishness, wisdom and foolishness, providing children of many ages the opportunity to participate in meaning-making that extends well beyond the book itself.”

The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen is a delectable modern fable with a twist (or two) of surprise, sure to kindle a reaction from both readers and listeners.”

Mac Barnett is a New York Times-bestselling author of stories for children. His books have sold more than one million copies in the United States and have been translated into more than 30 languages. His picture books include two Caldecott-Honor-winning collaborations with Jon Klassen: Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, which also won the E.B White Read-Aloud Award, and Extra Yarn, which won both the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award. Leo: A Ghost Story, illustrated by Christian Robinson, and The Skunk, illustrated by Patrick McDonnell, were named two of the Ten Best Illustrated Books of 2015 by The New York Times. Mac's novels include the Brixton Brothers mysteries and The Terrible Two series. He lives in Oakland, California.

Jon Klassen is a Canadian-born author and illustrator. He has written and illustrated three picture books of his own and illustrated many other author's texts. His own books are called I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat and We Found A Hat. Highlights of his illustrated books are Sam & Dave Dig A Hole by Mac Barnett, The Dark by Lemony Snicket, and his latest is The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse also by Mac Barnett. His books have won a Caldecott medal and two Caldecott honors and other international awards. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and son.

The Mitten Award, established in 1999, is designed to recognize and promote quality literature for youth in picture book format, and the ability to communicate to that audience through literature. The award selection work group is comprised of Michigan librarians who consider hundreds of children’s books annually to determine a winner.

2018 Mitten Award Honor Books

  • After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again written and illustrated by Dan Santat
  • Bob, not Bob! (To Be Read as if You Have the Worst Cold Ever) by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Matthew Cordell
  • Sergeant Reckless: The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero by Patricia McCormick, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
  • Town Is By the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Sydney Smith

Past Mitten Award Winners and Honor Books

2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

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