Upcoming Events 2021

Saturday, December 4 – Holiday open studio! 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Northrup King Building, Studio 423 NE Minneapolis

Saturday, December 11 – Holiday open studio! 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Northrup King Building, Studio 423 NE Minneapolis

Saturday, December 18 – Next Chapter Booksellers meet & greet / signing on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 1-3pm with David LaRochelle.

2022 Events
April 9 – BAM Festival
West Palm Beach, Florida 

Open studio event!
Northrup King Building, Studio 423 NE Minneapolis
Friday: May 20 – 6:00 – 10:00 PM
Saturday: May 21 – noon – 8:00 PM
Sunday: May 22 – noon – 5:00 PM


What’s New

Best of 2021

How to Apologize was chosen as one of the Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Books of 2021!   See the Dog was selected for the Chicago Public Library’s Best of 2021 list!
December – 2021

See the New Book

It’s always nerve-racking to send original art, but I’m happy to report the paintings for See the Ghost: Three Stories About Things You Cannot See arrived safely at Candlewick Press. This is the third book in the See the Cat Series written by my good friend David LaRochelle. Publication is scheduled for 2023. Here I am in my studio with the paintings before mailing them off.
December – 2021

Happy Fall!



It’s so fun to see How to Apologize in different languages. Clockwise from top left, Complex Chinese, Dutch, French Canadian, and Italian.
November – 2021

Feeling Good

I sold a story!  This is always exciting news. I’m so happy to be working with the wonderful editor Andrea Tompa at Candlewick on this project! 
September – 2021

See the Medal

Celebrating winning the 2021 Theodor Suess Geisel Award
for See the Cat with author David LaRochelle.
June – 2021

Wordplay Draw-Off

It was very fun to face off against three other illustrators (Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, Linda Bondestam, and Jon Klassen) at the Loft’s WORDPLAY Illustrator Draw-Off, moderated by Raul the Third. We were given a series of four different prompts and then asked to come up with an illustration in just a few minutes. The four prompts were: draw yourself playing your favorite sport, draw a favorite childhood book character, draw yourself as a favorite food, and create a superhero animal. That’s me as a cheese burger with french fry arms.
May – 2021

See the 3D Dog

This is what my amazingly talented wife, Anna, made me for Valentine’s Day!!
February – 2021

See the happy author and illustrator!

David LaRochelle and I received the incredible news through a surprise Zoom chat that See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog was awarded the 2021 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award from the American Library Association. The award is given to “the author and illustrator of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers.” Above is a screen shot of the Geisel Award committee holding up copies of our book with the medal! 
January – 2021

Baby Cakes is back!

Baby Cakes is back

The paintings for See the Dog: Three Stories About a Cat arrived safely at Candlewick. This book is written by David LaRochelle and is the sequel to See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog

See the Dog cover reveal and interview extravaganza with Betsy Bird!
• Click here to read the starred review in Kirkus.
• Click here to read the starred review in School Library Journal.
November – 2020

Nerdy and Cybil Awards

See the happy dog!

See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog received a Nerdy Award and is the winner of the 2020 Cybils Award for Early Readers!
October – 2020

Mike Wohnoutka with How to Apologize artwork

New Picture Book

I was fortunate to have a big project to keep me busy during the Stay at Home order. Here I am in my studio with the paintings for the book How To Apologize written by David LaRochelle.
June – 2020

MOO-chas Gracias!

My publisher requested an image of Cow to use in a thank you to all the teachers who requested permission to use MOO! during distance learning.

As you can see, Cow was happy to oblige. Thank you, all teachers and librarians, for learning to teach in a new way and for caring about our students!
May – 2020

Star of the North

See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog is one of ten nominees for the 2022 “Star of the North” picture book award!  This award will be voted on by students across Minnesota during the 2021-2022 school year. Max is in stellar company!

See the Cat is also one of 15 books nominated for Florida’s Sunshine State Young Reader Award Jr., another children’s choice award. Fun to know that while kids in chilly Minnesota will be reading and voting on our book next year, so will kids in sunny Florida!



7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast

I was recently interviewed by Jules Danielson from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast about creating the illustrations for How to Apologize. I am so honored to be featured on this outstanding blog about books!
Click here to read the interview and see some “behind the scene” sketches.



Snow Fun - 20th Book

20th Picture Book!

Very happy to receive an advance copy of my new book Croc & Turtle: Snow Fun which comes out on October 8th, 2019. This is my 20th trade picture book. Here they all are in chronological order starting at the bottom with my first picture book, Cowboy Sam and Those Confounded Secrets written by Kathy Combs and Kitty Griffin. Though sometimes this ride makes me feel like Turtle, I hope it continues!

See the Book

I’m so thankful that my paintings for See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog arrived safely at Candlewick. I’m also very thankful to have been able to illustrate another wonderful story written by David LaRochelle! It was fun to have David over to my studio to look at the final art before shipping it off.

The book comes out in 2020. Look for more details soon!

Redbud Read-aloud

Croc & Turtle made the 2020 Redbud Read-Aloud masterlist! This is Oklahoma’s children’s choice picture book award. As you can see Croc and Turtle are in excellent company.

SO happy!

So Big is featured in The Best Books of 2019 / Kirkus Reviews!


I’m very excited that a Persian edition of Moo! has been published!  Since the text in this book follows the illustrations closely, they have flipped the pictures to go along with the words which read right to left.  This is fun to see!

Happy Fall!

I’ve been working with a new medium – Pumpkin! Thank you, David LaRochelle (the Pumpkin Carving Master) for encouraging me to try this and for the tips. 

Junior Library Guild Finalists

Junior Library Guild

So Big and Croc & Turtle are Junior Library Guild Selections!


I was honored to be a part of the inaugural book festival, Wordplay. It was fun (and a little scary) to meet Stephen King who was also one of the featured authors. His band, the Rock Bottom Remainders, played at First Avenue the night before the festival.  

ALA at Seattle Library

ALA in Seattle

The stunning Seattle Public Library.  This is where I gave a presentation on the making of Croc & Turtle as part of the 2019 American Library Association Conference.

Authors in April

Authors in April

I had a wonderful week visiting schools in Michigan for Authors in April. I visited with the kindergarten and first grade students at fifteen different schools. Every school welcomed me with beautiful artwork that the students created based on my books.
Here I am with the authors that visited the older grade levels: Neal Shusterman, Cynthia Lord, and Lenore Look.

Minnesota Book Award Finalist!

Minnesota Book Award Finalist

I was very excited to learn that This Is NOT a Cat! is a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in the Children’s Literature category. This is my fourth year in a row that one of my books has been a finalist!

KARE11: Minnesota authors write new children's book

KARE11 Sunrise with Belinda Jensen

David LaRochelle and I were interviewed by Belinda Jensen on KARE11. It was a live show, so it was a little scarry, but Bel put us at ease and we enjoyed talking about the creative process behind This Is NOT a Cat!. Belinda is also a children’s book author. She has a great series about weather.

MOO! Edition

The MOO! board book is now available!

Red Balloon Poster

So honored to create the 30th Anniversary poster for the Red Balloon Bookshop. Thank you Holly Weinkauf and everyone at the Red Balloon for selecting me as the illustrator!

Mike Wohnoutka and son Franklin

Red Balloon Poster

There was an awesome crowd at the launch party for Dad’s First Day at the Red Balloon Bookshop on August 15th. Here I am with the real Oliver, my son, Franklin.

Thank you to everyone that was there to help me celebrate my second book as both illustrator and author!

Moo! is first selection for Once Upon a Reader!

David LaRochelle, Cow, and I traveled to every corner of Minnesota and visited 59 libraries with our presentation/puppet show for preschoolers. Thank you to everyone who came out to see the show and thank you to Once Upon a Reader for choosing MOO! as their inaugural book!

Once Upon a Reader is an early literacy program designed to encourage young children and adults to read together.

See the videos: Creating MOO! and MOO! The Moo-vie!

Mazza Museum Tour

Mazza Museum

I was honored to be a keynote speaker at the Mazza Museum Summer Conference in Findlay, Ohio. What an amazing conference!

Photo from left to right: Jarrett Krosoczka, Ben Sapp (Director of Mazza), Mike, David Shannon, and Loren Long.

Star of the North Winners

MOO! is a Star in the North!

David LaRochelle and I received the Star of the North Picture Book Award for MOO!, an award that was voted on by 38,000 kindergarten to 2nd graders across Minnesota.

Here we are with Marsha Hayles, author of Breathing Room, and Stu Gibbs, author of Belly Up, winners of the Maud Hart Lovelace award voted on by older students.

Minnesota Book Awards

MOO! wins!

David LaRochelle and I were thrilled when, on the evening of April 5th, MOO! won the Minnesota Book Award in the Children’s Literature category.

Here we are at the Awards Gala held at the beautiful Union Depot in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Jewish Book Awards

Hannukah Bear wins!

I traveled to New York City to accept the National Jewish Book Award for Illustrated Children’s Book for Hanukkah Bear.

Here I am with Eric Kimmel (the author) at the ceremony.

Hanukkah Bear was also selected by the Bank Street College of Education as one of “The Best Children’s Books of the Year.”