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Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln

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Winner of the Pura Belpr Illustrator Award
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book

In soaring words and stunning illustrations, Margarita Engle and Rafael L pez tell the story of Teresa Carre o, a child prodigy who played piano for Abraham Lincoln.

As a little girl, Teresa Carre o loved to let her hands dance across the beautiful keys of the piano. If she felt sad, music cheered her up, and when she was happy, the piano helped her share that joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too--the Civil War.

Still, Teresa kept playing, and soon she grew famous as the talented Piano Girl who could play anything from a folk song to a sonata. So famous, in fact, that President Abraham Lincoln wanted her to play at the White House Yet with the country torn apart by war, could Teresa's music bring comfort to those who needed it most?

Author: Margarita Engle
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Published: 08/27/2019
Pages: 40
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.95lbs
Size: 10.60h x 8.90w x 0.40d
ISBN: 9781481487405
Audience: Ages 4-8

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 5.5
Point Value: 0.5
Interest Level: Lower Grade
Quiz #/Name: 504357 / Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreno Played the Piano for President Lincoln

Award: Pura Belpre Award - Winner

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 06/01/2019 pg. 98
Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks 07/01/2019
Publishers Weekly 07/08/2019
Booklist 06/01/2019 pg. 82
School Library Journal 08/01/2019 pg. 85
Shelf Awareness 08/27/2019
Horn Book Magazine 09/01/2019 pg. 110
Hornbook Guide to Children 07/01/2019 - Superior,Well Above Average

About the Author
Margarita Engle is the Cuban American author of many books including the verse novels Rima's Rebellion; Your Heart, My Sky; With a Star in My Hand; The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor winner; and The Lightning Dreamer. Her verse memoirs include Soaring Earth and Enchanted Air, which received the Pura Belpré Award, a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor, and was a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, among others. Her picture books include Drum Dream Girl; Dancing Hands; and The Flying Girl. Visit her at

Rafael López was born and raised in Mexico, a place that has always influenced the vivid colors and shapes in his artwork. He now creates community-based mural projects around the world and illustrates acclaimed children's books including The Day You Begin, Bravo!, Drum Dream Girl, We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands, Book Fiesta!, and Dancing Hands. Rafael divides his time between Mexico and California. Visit him at
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