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The OTTER Award

Announcing the 2022 OTTER Award Nominees

WLA's OTTER Award committee is excited to announce the 2022 OTTER Award nominees!




  • Dancing at Carnival (Ana & Andrew) by Christine A Platt, illustrated by Sharon Sordo (Calico Kid / ABDO)
  • Dave the Unicorn: Welcome to Unicorn School by Pip Bird, illustrated by David O’Connell (Imprint / Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
  • High and Dry by Eric Walters, illustrated by Sabrina Gendron (Orca Book Publishers)
  • Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business by Lyla Lee, illustrated by Dung Ho (Aladdin / Simon & Schuster Publishing)
  • Red Panda & Moon Bear by Jarod Roselló (Top Shelf Productions / IDW Publishing)
  • Willa the Wisp (The Fabled Stables, book #1) by Jonathan Auxier, illustrated by Olga Demidova (Amulet Books / Abrams)

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Mr. Wolf has just started teaching at Hazelwood Elementary. He wants the first day of school to go well, but he's got his hands full with his new class. Some of his students include: Margot, who is new in town and is trying to make friends. Sampson, who brought something special to school for show-and-tell. Aziza, who just wants everyone to be quiet and do their work. And Penny, who is VERY sleepy because she has a new baby brother at home, goes missing! This delightful new series captures the everyday -- and unexpected -- ups and downs of a fourth-grade classroom.

Aron Nels Steinke is the Eisner Award-winning coauthor (with Ariel Cohn) and illustrator of The Zoo Box. He’s a second- and third-grade teacher by day, and a cartoonist by night. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and son.


Announcing the 2020-2021 WLA OTTER Award Nominees

The OTTER Award – Our Time To Enjoy Reading – is sponsored by the Washington Library Association: School Libraries Division. Established in 2015, the committee is pleased to announce the 2020-2021 nominated titles.

View the 2021 nominees as presented during the WLA 2020 Conference, with links to videos, bookmarks, printables, and more!


  • Sparks!  by Ian Boothby, illustrated Nina Matsumoto (Graphix by Scholastic)
  • Didi Dodo, Future Spy: Recipe for Disaster (Didi Dodo, Future Spy #1) by Tom Angleberger, illustrated by Jared Chapman (Amulet Books)
  • Truman the Dog (My Furry Foster Family, book #1) by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Melanie Demmer (Capstone Publishers)
  • Isle of Misfits 1: First Class by Jamie Mae, illustrated by Freya Hartas (Little Bee Books)
  • Mia Mayhem is a Superhero! by Kara West, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez (Simon & Schuster)
  • Stealing the Sword! (Time Jumpers, book #1) by Wendy Mass, illustrated by Oriol Vidal (Scholastic Branches)

Wendy Mass thanks the OTTER Committee


2020 OTTER Nominees

WLA's OTTER Award committee is excited to announce the 2020 OTTER Award nominees:

  • Two’s a Crowd (Pug Pals #1)  by Flora Ahn (Scholastic)
  • Mac Undercover (Mac B., Kid Spy #1) by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Mike Lowery (Scholastic)
  • Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters (The Questioneers, book #1) by Andrea Beady, illustrated by David Roberts (Amulet / Abrams)
  • Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqi, illustrated by Hatem Aly (Picture Window Books / Capstone)
  • Rabbit’s Bad Habits (Rabbit & Bear, book 1) by Julian Gough, illustrated by Jim Field (Silver Dolphin Books / Hachette Children’s Group)
  • Mr. Wolf’s Class (Mr. Wolf’s Class #1) by Aron Nels Steinke (Graphix / Scholastic)


2019 OTTER Award Winner

WLA's 2019 OTTER Award goes to GAME OVER, SUPER RABBIT BOY! (PRESS START! #1) by Thomas Flintham.


This year, over 7,400 students across the state read and voted for the award!  We thank you for reading and voting, and we hope you enjoyed the nominees.

A breakdown of our votes:

2019 OTTER Award Nominees

Don't Forget! Voting for the 2019 OTTER Award is open until May 10, 2019.  

Any student who has read 2 or more books is eligible to vote, regardless of grade level.  

  • Catstronauts: mission moon by Drew Brockington (Little, Brown)
  • Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras) by Asia Citro, illustrated by Marion Lindsay (The Innovation Press)
  • Game Over, Super Rabbit Boy! (Press Start!) by Thomas Flintham (Branches/Scholastic)
  • Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic (FSG / Macmillian Kids)
  • March of the Mini-Beasts (The D.A.T.A. Set) by Ada Hopper, illustrated by Sam Ricks (Little Simon / Simon & Schuster)
  • Dolphin Rescue (Animal Planet Adventures) by Catherine Nichols , illustrated by James Burks (Liberty Street / Time Inc. Books)

We thank you for supporting transitional readers by sharing these titles with students and look forward to announcing another winner next May.


2018 OTTER Award Winner

The OTTER Award Committee is proud to announce The Bad Guys: Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey as the winner of the 2018 OTTER Award for transitional readers.

In its second year, 5,500 students across WA state read & voted for their favorite nominee. The Bad Guys: Episode 1 received 2,024 votes.

Mr. Wolf's Class by Aron Nels Steinke