Chepito, an inquisitive little boy, wanders around his agricultural community posing the titular question to the various people he encounters, all laborers involved in food production.
Manuel tends corn, Ramón milks the cow, and Maria makes tortillas. As Chepito asks his friendly neighbors why they are doing their various activities, they each respond in a way that helps him to understand not only what it is that they are doing, but how it connects to his life specifically. When asked why she is feeding the chickens, Doña Ana tells him, “So that they can grow strong and lay good eggs like the ones you just had for breakfast.” The soft, earthy palette of the illustrations is well-suited for the rural setting. Each character wears a subtle grin on his or her face, complementing the curious tone of the narrative. Spanish words are presented throughout the text, blended in with the English without the use of special typeface or simultaneous translations, though context makes them clear: Juan and Dolores are tying plants to sticks “[s]o that these beans can grow on the plants. See the frijoles inside?” A brief glossary at the end provides the English definitions of the Spanish words.
An energetic, simple exploration of food’s journey from farm to table for today’s young locavores. (glossary) (Picture book. 3-5)