This book tastes like tamales on Christmas night: The secret libraries of Moos Elementary

What a busy week! The very first of our residency is always jam packed: we’ve got to get to know each other, talk about what to expect, pass out poetry folders, and then get to the really good stuff–poems!

This week the students imagined a grand library full of wild and crazy books. Instead of talking about the stories in the books, we told stories about the books–the tale of a physical object as it moves from person to person, story to story.

After reading Albert Goldbarth’s, “Library” (a short excerpt, rather) I asked students to add new books to the library that this poet started.

It was a pleasure to meet the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at Moos Elementary. Many thanks to their fine teachers, too! Here’s a sampling of the wonderful student poems from this week.

Ms. Brown
5th Grade

Anna J.

This book smells like tamales on a christmas night
This book tastes like tacos in the living room
with my mom, dad, dogs, sister and me
This book feels rough on top, greasy on the side
and furry on the bottom
This book makes me feel happy depressed
This book crushed a spider

Lauren’s Library
Lauren S.

This book was there when I turned five years old
This book smells like garbage being collected on a sunday
This book was at my mom’s wedding
This book feels like bacon on bread
This book feels like lion fur
This book looks like its sad
This book looks like Santa’s beard
I chewed on this book
I killed a fly with this book
This book got stung by a bee
This book got stepped on by an elephant
and now it has an elephant food print on it
This book looks like a leaf so a giraffe tried to swallow it
This book tastes like sour cream on tacos

Deshawn K

This book smells like pie on Thanksgiving
This book wants to box
This book has to pay me
This book is proud like he won a medal
This book me sick

Mr. Battle
4th Grade

Jaylene P.

This book sounds like a ghost crying


This book smells like stinky shoes with worms
This book tastes like glitter with hand sanitizer
This book sounds like spooky adventures
This book feels like soft furry sweaters
This book has scary pictures
This book seems crazy

Marilyn R.

This book looks like an angry ghost
This book is a man with the golden touch
This book is a greedy naughty sneetch
This book is with a man with a lot of hats
This book looks like an egg

Christian A.

This book tastes like crickets
This book looks like rats
This book drives me nuts
This book saves the house
This book loos weird
This book smells like rotten crickets
This book is nice and cool
This book smells and tastes like bubble gum

Mr. Koltak
6th Grade


This book tases like salt
This book acts like a saw
This book feels like hear
This books emotions are joyful
This book smells like coffee


This book feels like a ship’s sail
This book tastes like pushpops
This book feels like a sidewalk
This book smells like fish
This book has made up words
This book tastes like feet
This book is sad
This book is scary
This book is really meaning less
This book smells like cats
This book tastes like dogs

Martiana H.

This book tastes like cherries
This book smells like chocolate
This book feels like candy
This book sits like a chair
This book feels like the floor



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.