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What Are You Doing?

Written by Elisa Amado

Illustrated by Manuel Monroy

  • 32 Pages
  • 9781554982882
  • 7" x 8"
  • Reading age from 3 to 7
  • JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United States / Hispanic & Latino
  • JUVENILE FICTION / School & Education


It's the first day of school, but before he goes Chepito runs outside to play. He comes across all kinds of people in his neighborhood -- a man reading a newspaper, a young girl enjoying a comic, a couple of tourists consulting a guidebook, an archeologist studying hieroglyphics . . .

"Why, why, why?" he sings, and they each have an answer for him. Later that day Chepito discovers for himself that reading is catching, and he even brings home a book to read to his younger sister.

Set in a delightfully retro world by illustrator Manuel Monroy, this book is a true celebration of reading.

Selected for the Toronto Public Library First and Best 2011 2011


Elisa Amado
Elisa Amado is a Guatemalan-born author and translator. She has written Un barrilete para el Día de los muertos / Barrilete: A Kite for the Day of the Dead, Cousins (Primas) and Tricycle (El triciclo), which is on the Américas Award Commended List and is a USBBY Outstanding International Book. Her most recent books are What Are You Doing? and Why Are You Doing That?. Elisa lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Manuel Monroy

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.


"...captures some of the initial excitement of emergent literacy against a setting too-little seen in North American children's books." Kirkus Reviews

" inspirational example for emergent readers....Highly recommended." CM Magazine

"This is learning by chatting, in a society in which strangers are not dangers but fascinating resources and friends." Quill & Quire

"...a thoughtful offering for soon-to-be literates that just may get them thinking about the power of reading." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"...a pleasurable, rhythmic read..." Booklist

"...captures the celebration of the printed page as seen through the eyes of a child who has just awakened to its magical possibilities." Canadian Children's Book News

"a book that should find a place of importance in school classrooms, home libraries and on your gift list for little ones." Sal's Fiction Addiction

"...the perfect book..." The Mid West Book Review

"...simple yet powerful..." Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

"... this book charmed me utterly." Kid Tested, Librarian Approved