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 2020 Mitten Award using the online form:

2020 Mitten Award Nomination Form

2019 Mitten Award

Saline District Library Mitten Display

The 2019 Mitten Award Work Group scrutinized more than 250 picture books to select this year's winning title and honor books. Collectively, work group members devoted nearly 500 hours to reading and evaluating picture books to select the titles 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.

2019 Work Group:

  • Co-Chair: Dawn Heerspink, Kent District Library- Byron Twp. Branch
  • Co-Chair: Kathy Merucci, Salem-South Lyon District Library
  • Kyra Dalrymple, Paw Paw District Library
  • Mary Daugherty, Salem-South Lyon District Library
  • Carrie Gawne, Jackson District Library
  • Michael Golczynski, Ionia Community Library
  • Ashley Lehman, Orion Township Library
  • Jocelyn Levin, Lyon Township Public Library
  • Peggy Parrish, Clinton Township Public Library
  • Mindy Schafer, DeWitt District Library
  • Angela Warsinske, Rochester Hills Public Library
  • Loni Wetherell, Cromaine District Library
  • Ashten Wilkey, Kent District Library - Wyoming Branch
  • Amy Young, Clinton-Macomb Public Library

2019 Mitten Award Top Ten Titles

The work group read throughout the year to narrow selections to the Top Ten Titles and determine the winning title and honor books. The Mitten Top Ten Titles were announced at Spring Institute 2019. The winning title and honor books will be announced at the 2019 MLA Annual Conference, October 16-18, 2019 in Novi.

2019 Top Ten Titles (In random order)

  • The Honeybee by Kristin Hall, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
  • The Rough Patch by Brian Lies
  • We Don’t Eat Our Classmates! by Ryan T. Higgins
  • I am a Cat by Galia Bernstein
  • Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri
  • The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
  • Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth by Kate Gardner, illustrated by Heidi Smith
  • Zola’s Elephant by Randall de Sève, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
  • A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin
  • Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Brothers (Eric and Terry Fan)

Past Mitten Award Winners and Honor Books

2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

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