“Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played The Piano For President Lincoln”
As a little girl, Teresa loved to play the piano. She expressed herself through her music. By age six, she wrote her own songs. At age seven, she performed in a cathedral. When a revolution had erupted in Venezula, Teresa and her family fleed their home and immigrated to the United States. Homesick, they found themselves in a new country that was in the midst of the Civil War.
Determined to be better,Teresa practiced waltzes, sonatas, folk songs, and symphonies. She became known as the Piano Girl and performed solos with orchestras. At age ten, she received an invitation from President Abraham Lincoln to play at the White House. The country was still at war and the president had just lost his son. Teresa worried if she would play well enough. Would her music bring comfort?
This book promotes creative components of creative person, perseverance, and courage.
WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because Teresa’s story is one that kids can relate to. Her perseverance, determination, and passion for music at such a young age is admirable. Additionally the bright, vivid illustrations invite readers into Teresa’s world.
TITLE: Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played The Piano For President Lincoln
AUTHOR: Margarita Engle
ILLUSTRATOR: Rafael López
PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books For Young Readers, 2019
AGE GROUP: 7-9
TOPIC(S): biography of Teresa Carreño, piano talent, Civil War
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative person, perseverance, courage
1) With a guardian or parent’s permission, download a piano playing app. Invent and record your own song.
2) Play notes on a piano that sound like birds flying, thunder rolling, and squirrels scampering.
3) What is one thing you do that really interests you? In what ways might you learn and practice it?
4) Listen toTeresa Carreño play the piano on YouTube:
To learn more about author Margarita Engle visit:
To learn more about illustrator Rafael López visit: