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Children's Fiction Cooking & Food

Why Are You Doing That?

by (author) Elisa Amado

illustrated by Manuel Monroy

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Jun 2014
Cooking & Food, Country Life, Daily Activities
Recommended Age
3 to 7
Recommended Grade
p to 2
Recommended Reading age
3 to 7
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2014
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2014
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


Chepito is full of questions. Why is his mother cooking eggs and frying beans? Why is Manuel digging around the corn? Why is Ramón milking the cow? Why is Maria slapping dough between her hands? In this simply told story, a little boy learns all about food and where it comes from.

Following on the success of What Are You Doing? Elisa Amado and Manuel Monroy have created another gem of a picture book, this time about food — where it comes from, how we nurture food plants and animals, and what we eat to be healthy and strong.

Manuel Monroy sweetly depicts Chepito’s world — a rural community where people grow much of their own food and raise chickens and cows — giving young children a clear picture of the origins of foods they consume every day.

Includes a short glossary.

About the authors

Elisa Amado's profile page

Manuel Monroy is one of Mexico’s most accomplished illustrators whose work has appeared in children’s books, in magazines, on posters, and most recently in animation projects. He has won many awards, including the A la Orilla del Viento prize, given by the Fondo de Cultura Economica; the Noma Concours in Japan; a Gold World Medal for Art Direction at the New York Film Festival, and a Merit Mention from the Society of Publication Designers. His work has also been included on the IBBY Honour List and in the White Ravens catalogue. Manuel has illustrated many children’s books, which have been published in Canada and the United States, such as Daybreak, Nightfall (Alba y ocaso) and Rooster Gallo, both by poet Jorge Luján; When I Was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo by Poli Delano; and What Are You Doing? by Elisa Amado. He has also exhibited his art in Mexico, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands. He lives in Mexico City.

Manuel Monroy's profile page


  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens

Editorial Reviews

What may appear to be a simple book about a child and his questions ends up being a very clever story about where food comes from as the farm to table movement grows, it is a wonderful lesson to teach young children. . . . Highly Recommended.

CM Magazine

An energetic, simple exploration of food’s journey from farm to table for today’s young locavores.

Kirkus Reviews

Why Are You Doing That? not only tells a charming story, but, as an added benefit, shows young readers how their food winds up on their plate.

National Post

Using an earthy palette of greens, browns, and oranges, the pictures have a strong sense of place . . . [A] strong selection for libraries dedicated to maintaining diverse collections.

School Library Journal

Together, Amado and Monroy present Chepito’s world as a pleasant and purposeful one where children, adults, animals, and crops are bound together in a traditional and appealing way of life.

Quill & Quire

Other titles by Elisa Amado

Other titles by Manuel Monroy