In the foreword to El Chiquito Big Book, poet Melissa Castro Almandina writes, “The works in this book will touch you, will remind you of what it’s like to be a child again and will change you from root-to-soot-to-gold.” The students of Pickard Elementary spent their year with 826CHI exploring poetic forms, experimenting with language and finding ways to wrap words around the world that go beyond what is typical taught in schools. Some poems are small. Some poems are large. Some are set in the future. And some are living deeply in the now. But all of these poems, like their poets, are exactly as they should be—exactly as they are.