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Upcoming Events 2024

February & March
 – Lots of school visits

May 7 – Publication of Go and Get With Rex – from Candlewick Press.

ART-A-WHIRLOpen studio event!
Northrup King Building,  New Studio! * 210 *
Friday, May 17:  6:00 – 9:00 PM
Sat., May 18 noon – 8:00 PM
Sun., May 19 noon – 5:00 PM

June 15 – Launch party for Go and Get With Rex – 10:30 a.m. at Red Balloon Bookshop – St. Paul, MN

June 21Litchfield Public Library event at 10:00 a.m. with David LaRochelle  – Litchfield, MN

Sept. 10Publication of Mr. Fox’s Game of “No!” – from Candlewick Press.

Oct. 26 – Launch party for Mr. Fox’s Game of “No!” – 10:30 a.m. at Red Balloon Bookshop – St. Paul,  MN



Target Book Club!

Go and Get With Rex is one of Target’s Kids’ Book Club Picks for the month of May. So, you’ll be able to find the book at Target. But, of course, you can also buy it from your favorite independent book store!
May – 2024

A Star for Mr. Fox!

Mr. Fox’s Game of “No!” received a starred review from Booklist.
Here’s an excerpt: “LaRochelle and Wohnoutka, the brilliantly witty writer and illustrator, take kids on a vicarious adventure of sneaky questions designed to trip up and amuse listeners in equal measure. A clever, hilarious picture book!”  Thank you, Booklist!

May – 2024

New Edition of DAD'S FIRST DAY

I just received the Complex Chinese edition (left) of Dad’s First Day.  It’s wonderful to see this book come out in different languages. It’s especially fun when a different illustration is used for the cover, which happened a few years ago with the Chinese edition (right).
March – 2024

See the Stuffie

A Max plush will be available in August!
February – 2024

Rex gets a STAR!

Go and Get With Rex received a starred review from Booklist!
Here’s an excerpt: “From the creators of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award–winning See the Cat, here’s another genuinely funny book. Well attuned to its audience of prereaders and beginning readers, this book is zany, fun, and downright irresistible.”  Thank you, Booklist!
January – 2024

Four Best Book Lists!

I’m thrilled See the Ghost made the following Best Books of 2023 lists: School Library JournalBank Street College, Kirkus, and Chicago Public Library.
Max and Baby Cakes are in excellent company.
December – 2023

Star Tribune Recommendations

I was excited that See the Ghost and Ups and Downs were on this list of 40 books to get you through the winter. Thank you, Star Tribune!
November – 2023

Mr. Fox

I’m happy to report the paintings for Mr. Fox’s Game of “No! arrived safely at Candlewick Press. This book will be the 8th collaboration with my fantastic friend David LaRochelle. Publication is scheduled for Fall 2024.  Here I am in my studio with the paintings before mailing them off.
November – 2023


Stunned, and very happy, to see Ups and Downs show up at #3 on the Midwest Indie Bestseller List!
November – 2023

Mini Book Tour

David LaRochelle and I enjoyed a week of visiting schools and bookstores in Chicago and Milwaukee.
Thank you to all the librarians, teachers, students, and bookstore employees who welcomed us so warmly and made the week such a success! 
October – 2023

See the Pumpkin

At the See the Ghost launch party at Red Balloon Bookshop we had a drawing for a pumpkin carved by me. The winner was my friend, Wendy, who is a 2nd grade teacher at Northrop Elementary in Minneapolis. If you look closely you will see that Max is reading one of Wendy’s favorite books.
October – 2023

Cow turns 10

Happy book birthday to MOO!
If I owned the farm, there would be a 10th Anniversary Edition with gold foil on the cover.
This is my first collaboration with David LaRochelle. 
October 8th – 2023

Rex Cover Reveal

I’m excited to share the cover for Go and Get with Rex.
The book comes out May 7, 2024 from Candlewick Press.
Thank you Good Comics for Kids for being the first to reveal the cover!

 Go and Get with Rex is a Junior Library Guild Selection
September – 2023

South Dakota Festival of Books

David LaRochelle and I took part in the South Dakota Festival of Books. We heard outstanding speakers, including Kate DiCamillo, J. Ryan Stradal, Gary Schmidt, and Henry Cole. All were inspiring.
September – 2023


Ups and Downs

I just received an advance copy of my new book! Someone asked if I liked how it turned out, and my response was “Well, I didn’t throw it across the room.” Here I am with the book, unharmed. It comes out September 19th.
Click here to read the first reviews. Click here to read my YABC interview.
July – 2023

MN Book Awards Ceremony

It was a very fun evening at the Minnesota Book Awards where David LaRochelle and I presented the winner in the children’s literature category. Congratulations to Kristen Schroeder for her beautiful book, “So Much Snow.” 
Congratulations also to the other finalists, Lauren Stringer for “The Dark was Done,” Bao Phi for “You Are Life,” and Diane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, and John Coy for “Where We Come From.” So much talent in Minnesota!
May – 2023

Authors in April

David LaRochelle and I had a wonderful week visiting schools in Michigan for Authors In April. We visited with the kindergarten and first grade students at 14 different schools. Here we are with the authors that visited the older grades (left to right): Kelly Starling Lyons, Christina Soontornvat, and Barbara O’Connor.
April – 2023

Go and Get with Rex

It’s always nerve-racking to mail original art, but I’m happy to report the paintings for Go and Get with Rex arrived safely at Candlewick Press. This book will be the 7th collaboration with my pal David LaRochelle. Publication is scheduled for May 7, 2024.  Here I am in my studio with the paintings before mailing them off.
April – 2023

Cat Stars

The See the Cat Series has now received 9 starred reviews! YAY!
April – 2023

Go and Get with Rex

Excited to be illustrating another story written by my good friend, David LaRochelle!
January – 2023

Read the Interview

Click here to see the cover for See the Ghost: Three Stories About Things You Cannot See and see David LaRochelle and me talk about the book.
Thank you, Nerdy Book Club!
October – 2022

See the Happy Dog and Cat

 See the Cat and See the Dog received the Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection Award! Thank you, JLG!
September – 2022

Ups and Downs

Very happy the paintings for Ups and Downs arrived safely at Candlewick Press. This will be my sixth book that I have both written and illustrated. Publication is scheduled for September 19, 2023.  Here I am in my studio with the paintings before mailing them off.
August – 2022

BYU Symposium

I presented at the BYU Symposium on Books for Young Readers in Provo, Utah. It was an amazing conference. Here I am with my awesome fellow presenters (left to right): Melissa Stewart, Meg Medina, John Rocco, Julie Berry, and Ruta Sepetys. Thank you to the conference staff for taking such good care of us!
July – 2022

Beehive Nominee

The Children’s Literature Association of Utah (CLAU) has chosen See the Cat as a nominee for the 2023 Beehive Book Award. This award will be voted on by students across Utah. Max is in stellar company! 
June – 2022

See the Spanish Editions

Muy feliz to see the Spanish editions of See the Cat and See the Dog.
May – 2022

Minnesota Book Award

It was a very fun night at the Minnesota Book Awards. I was genuinely surprised when How to Apologize won. It was an honor to be a finalist with the wonderful authors in my category: Joyce Sidman, Molly Beth Griffin, and Megan Maynor. Here’s a photo of author David LaRochelle and me with our beautiful blown glass awards at the ceremony.
April – 2022

Children's Literature

Here are the finalists in the Children’s Literature category for the 2022 Minnesota Book Awards. I’m excited How to Apologize made it to the final four. Winners for all nine categories will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 26, at Ordway Center for Performing Arts in St. Paul.
January – 2022

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 and Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2021 for Beginning Readers!
December – 2021

See the New Book

The paintings for See the Ghost: Three Stories About Things You Cannot See arrived safely at Candlewick Press. This will be my 33rd book and the third book in the See the Cat Series written by David LaRochelle. Publication is scheduled for Summer 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!
Ups and Downs comes out fall 2023.
September – 2021

See the Medal

Celebrating winning the 2021 Theodor Suess Geisel Award
for See the Cat with author David LaRochelle.
Click here to listen to The Yarn interview with Travis Jonker.
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!
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

Dad's First Day in the NYT!

Amazed to see Dad’s First Day reviewed in The New York Times!!!

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. 

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 15 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.”