National Education Association (NEA) Award

Book Review Column, Teacher's Pets

My book review column, Teacher's Pets was awarded Site of the Week by NEA, National Education Association. Each month I met after school for two hours with a team of current and former students from grade 1 though grade 7 to review picture books.

I had been a teacher for … oh … a lot of years – about thirty. Teaching was my first passion, besides my husband and my children, of course. Writing is my second passion. So when the National Education Association, NEA, recently acknowledged my column, TEACHER’S PETS at SmartWriters. I was flattered. Actually, I was ecstatic. You would have had a hard time pulling me down from the ceiling.


This award honors both my writing and my teaching. It intermingles my careers. The best of both worlds!

Of course, I am unbelievably proud of my team of reviewers—seven to fifteen students ages, six- to twelve-years-old make up a team for any given year. They were amazing reviewers.

The only prerequisite to being a KIDDLE CRITer was that they had too be in my first grade class. Each May I'd induct about four to six more children.

Once a month, the children arrived prepared to work and laugh and tease and giggle and eat … and, of course, to read and write and review picture books. The KIDDLES and I have reviewed nearly 100 books.


The SmartWriter's web site is now defunct; but you can read the reviews at two of my former websites. We hope you enjoy them.

Happy Reading!

Donna O'Donnell Figurski's  Blog


Donna O'Donnell Figurski - Children's Book Writer & Teacher

Note from the Editor

Congratulations on the NEA (National Education Association) recognizing your page. Excellent! Well done! Neat! You did the hard work. You’ve earned the honor!


Roxyanne Young, Editor SmartWriters Journal

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    © 2018 by Donna O'Donnell Figurski