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Mike Wohnoutka
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Mike is the acclaimed illustrator of many children's books, including the award-winning Davey's Blue-Eyed Frog and Jack’s House.

Even though Mike was a trouble-maker when he was in grade school, and thus gets a little nervous around principals, he still loves visiting schools and talking to students about illustrating children's books.

Mike grew up in Spicer, Minnesota and now has made his home in Minneapolis with his wife and two children.

Just Like My Papa
written by Toni Buzzeo
Hyperion Books for Children, 2013
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-142314263-8

Kito wants to be just like his papa, the protector of the pride. Throughout a day and night on the savanna, the cub imitates the way his father roars, swings his tail, shakes his head, and pounces. Kito may be too little to catch a wildebeest, but he is brave enough to succeed in his own hunt. Someday he will be King, just like his Papa. With its rhythmic text, dramatic moments on the African plain, and playful times for cub and papa, this book will make a perfect read-aloud for family sharing.
Just Like My Papa
Stay Close to Mama
written by Toni Buzzeo
illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Hyperion Books for Children, 2012
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-1423134824

In the wide, shining world there is so much to see, and Twiga is curious. But Twiga’s tall, tall Mama wants her baby to stay close, stay safe from the dangers that lurk near each irresistible sweet smell and sparkling sight that Twiga finds. With lyrical text and enchanting illustrations, this story of a mother’s love will soothe and delight readers of all ages.
Stay Close to Mama

Can't Sleep Without Sheep
written by Susanna Leonard Hill
Walker & Company, 2010
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-0-8027-2066-5

Whenever Ava can't sleep, she counts sheep. But Ava takes so long to fall asleep, it's the sheep that are getting tired—until they finally quit! The sheep promise to find a replacement that Ava can count on, but it might not be as easy as they thought...

In this hilarious take on a familiar bedtime ritual, readers will be charmed by Ava and her fluffy friends.

Can't Sleep Without Sheep

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Minnesota
written by Connie Van Hoven
Sterling, 2009
ISBN 978-1-4027-6395-3

Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas in Minnesota! Ready to greet you are 5 golden hotdishes, 4 lumberjacks, 3 red stones, 2 hockey sticks...and much more from the Gopher State. Jack is so excited about the visit of his twin cousins, Sarah and Hannah, that he gives them one of these VERY unusual gifts on each of the twelve days of Christmas. Hannah writes lively letters home to tell her mom and dad all about their trip. Lucky readers are in for a wild Christmas countdown!

12 Days of Christmas in Minnesota

Jack's House
written by Karen Magnuson Beil
Holiday House, 2008
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-0-8234-1913-5

Construction-equipment loving boys will adore this humourous twist on the classic nursery rhyme. Someone has done a lot of work building a house. Someone has been operating a cement mixer, driving a bulldozer, and using a forklift to build walls, frame windows, and nail down a roof. Someone has built a big, strong home for Jack. But is this the house that Jack built? One tired puppy dog disagrees in this story about getting what you work for.

Jack's House

Mama's Little Duckling
written by Marjorie Blain Parker
Dutton, 2008
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-0525479505

Dandelion Duckling is ready to explore...all by himself. Soon he’s paddling across the pond to visit with his friends. Mama is watching closely, though, and when she sees danger, she sounds the warning: QUACK! QUACK! QUACK! and Dandelion scoots right back. But one day not even Mama sees the weasel waiting in the willows. Can Dandelion remember what Mama Quack taught him, before it’s too late? Mike Wohnoutka’s vibrant, sun-splashed paintings capture the exuberance of Marjorie Blain Parker’s rhythmic read-aloud.

Mama's Little Duckling

When the Wizzy Foot Goes Walking
written by Roni Schotter
Dutton, 2007
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-0-5254-7791-4

Early every morning, the WIZZY FOOT rises and goes walking. Floors shake, buildings quake. Soon, like it or not, the whole family's awake! Whether jumping into its parents' bed, stomping into the kitchen for breakfast, or splashing outside, the WIZZY FOOT is busy making noise and having fun all the day long!

When the Wizzy Foot Goes Walking

Look What the Cat Dragged In
written by Gary Hogg
Dutton, 2005
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-0-375-82627-6

Deep in the woods, in the middle of winter, the last thing the Lazybones family wants to do is step outside their cabin. When they complain about being chilly, it’s up to the cat to go out and get them some firewood. “Look what the cat dragged in!” they exclaim. Still the Lazybones refuse to move a muscle, so the little cat has to take care of their hunger and boredom too. The kitty gets fed up with their selfish whining, and he drags the Lazybones into the middle of trouble—earning himself some well-deserved peace and quiet at last. This silly story based on a familiar saying will provide plenty of laughs with no effort at all.

Look What the Cat Dragged In!

My Dad Can Do Anything
written by Stephen Krensky
Random House, 2004
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-0-525-46984-1

What can your dad do? Can he climb the highest mountain? Or swim to the bottom of the sea? In this heartwarming story about how dads are strong, brave, and all around great, dads can do anything.

My Dad Can Do Anything

Foot-Stomping Adventures of Clementine Sweet
written by Kitty Griffin and Kathy Combs
Clarion Books, 2004
ages 4 to 8, ISBN 978-0-618-24746-2

This here's the story of the meanest, most ornery and pugnacious, pigtail-wearing, pint-sized person in the whole entire Texas Hill Country, and how she saved the town of Lovett from getting blown clear off the map. It's also the story of a peculiar, walloping, wicked wind, and a fella named Kyle and his large band, who rolled into town at the exact right time. But most of all, this is a story about a little gal who just got plumb tired of being forgotten about, and how she finally discovered a way to get noticed that made her happy instead of mad...and how she made other people happy, too.

Foot-Stomping Adventures of Clementine Sweet

Davey's Blue-Eyed Frog
written by Patricia Harrison Easton
Clarion Books, 2003
ages 7 to 10, ISBN 978-0-618-18185-8

Harkening back to the familiar story of the frog who is kissed by a princess and turns into a handsome prince, Davey's Blue-Eyed Frog features a frog princess in need of a kiss. In this contemporary story, Davey discovers a talking frog one day while collecting tadpoles. The frog's name is Princess Amelia, and she's been put under a spell and needs a kiss in order to return to her fairy tale world. To complicate matters, she needs her kiss before two cycles of the moon pass or she will stay a frog forever. Davey decides to make a deal with the frog: if she performs for him at the school talent show, he'll kiss her. But if Amelia is to survive the week, she'll need to convince Davey, who's notoriously bad with pets, to take better care of her. Will Davey be able to keep his promise to Amelia? Here is a clever, imaginative story with snappy dialogue and lots of humor, perfect for the reluctant boy reader.

Davey's Blue-Eyed Frog

Cowboy Sam and those Confounded Secrets
written by Kitty Griffin and Kathy Combs,
Clarion Books, 2001
ages 4 to 10, ISBN 978-0-618-08854-6

Reading Guide available from Minnesota Storytime

Shhh...don't tell anyone, but
Cowboy Sam has his own website: Click Here!

Under Cowboy Sam's hat are more secrets than fleas on Doc Peeble's hound dog, more secrets than peppers on a chili pepper plant, and more secrets than spikes on a horny toad lizard. Just about everyone in the town of Dry Gulch wants to tell Sam a secret. But when his hat gets plum full of secrets and won't stay put on his head, Sam is bumfuzzled and bewildered. How can he keep all those secrets under wraps— and keep the townfolk from going crazy? Perfectly matched by Mike Wohnoutka's comic illustrations, this funny and unexpectedly touching tale will appeal to readers young and old alike.

Cowboy Sam and Those Confounded Secrets

Johnny Appleseed: My Story
written by David L.
Random House, 2001
grades 1 to 3, ISBN 978-0-375-81247-7

Johnny Appleseed was an important historical figure, well known for planting apple orchards across the new frontier. But he was also a master storyteller! In his own folksy voice, Johnny Appleseed tells his story to a couple of entranced children in this fictionalized Step 2 title. Readers learn how he started planting apple trees and about some of the myths and true stories of his life. Mike Wohnoutka's vibrant illustrations capture the outgoing personality of Johnny Appleseed and the beautiful landscapes that he travels.

Johnny Appleseed: My Story

Counting Sheep
written by Julie Glass
Random House, 2000
preschool to grade 1, ISBN 978-0-375-80619-3

What do you do if you can't sleep? Count sheep! That's what the restless hero of this rollicking tale does. And when sheep don't work, he counts kangaroos by twos and monkeys by threes. But when he gets to bees by fours, the animals run amok! Then it's a countdown to dream time. With energetic, bright illustrations and rhythmic text, this is a great introduction to the idea of counting by sets, a precursor to multiplication.

Counting Sheep

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