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Elena's Serenade

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4.10  ·  Rating details ·  300 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Who ever heard of a girl glassblower?
In Mexico, where the sun is called el sol and the moon is called la luna, a little girl called Elena wants to blow into a long pipe...and make bottles appear, like magic.
But girls can't be glassblowers. Or can they?
Join Elena on her fantastic journey to Monterrey -- home of the great glassblowers! -- in an enchanting story filled
...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published February 24th 2004)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  300 ratings  ·  54 reviews


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RLL 520 Sharonda Kimbrough
The first thing I loved about this book was the cover. I appreciated the fact that the little girl drawn was of darker Latino heritage. This is a book I can share with my baby cousin who is of Black and Latino heritage where she can see a little girl that looks like her. The next amazing thing about this book was its illustrations which were very colorful and rich using many deep reds, oranges, and blues. This book is about a little girl that wants to be a glass blower like her father. She tells ...more
Bibiana Jurado
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abbie
Oct 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
My objection to this book has to do with the fact that my daughter is born into a new generation. While she will certainly face discrimination and challenges because of being a girl, I am not going to read her books that plant the seed in her head that she has to overcome being a girl. Even though the message is that you can do anything "despite" being a girl, I am not interested in even introducing that concept. Maybe if I saw that she was running into that in the world on her on then we could ...more
Courtney Sharpton
I loved this book! The story is really beautiful and shows students that they can do whatever they want as long as they are committed. I would use this book to show my students how to incorporate their native language into their own writing.
Mercedes Arroyo
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found the book very interesting and appealing for students. The book is a fantasy that has talking animals but also has a common theme and meaning behind Elena’s fictional tale. The story is about a young girl, Elena, wanting to become a glassblower. However, her father tells her that only men can be glassblowers, so Elena travels to a city where there are great glassblowers in hopes to learn to become a great glassblower herself. She takes the journey and encounters problems on the way and re ...more
Shiloh Pearson
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Little Elena wants to be a glassblower like her father, but he tells her she’s too young and that there’s no such thing as a girl glassblower. So, Elena decides to embark on a journey to Monterrey, where her brother says as the best glassblowers are. She puts on her brother’s clothes and hides her hair in a hat, so they won’t say that she can’t learn to blow glass because she’s a girl. Throughout her journey, Elena plays music on her father’s old glassblowing pipe, attracting various talking ani ...more
Hannah Arendt
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a young girl named Elena who wants to be like her father. She wants to blow glass so she can make music, but she can't because she is a girl. She goes on a journey to Monterrey to follow her dreams and attempt to become a glassblower. The theme of this book was about overcoming gender roles to follow her dreams. I would give this book a five-star rating because of the bilingual aspect of the book. I thought it was interesting how she wanted to prove to her father that she coul ...more
Lea Fabrizzi
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Elena's Serenade is about a little girl who wants to be a glass blower just like her papa but he tells her she is too tiny and that that girls can not be glass blowers. The little girl shows everyone that she is a very talented glass blower that can not only blow glass, but also play music on her pipe too. By the end of the story, Elena's papa is proud of her and her talent! -Lea Fabrizzi ...more
Rebecca Ratnasingham
-main character is told that she cannot be a glass blower because she is a girl. She proves everyone wrong!
-diverse characters (from Mexico)

What gender is marginalized? What do the characters believe about boys and girls?
How would this story be different if Elena was a boy?
Jessica McDaniel
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sexism
I like how this book has diverse characters and shows that you can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it whether you are male or female.
Sarah Sammis
Jul 31, 2010 rated it liked it
Harriet and I are falling into a new routine where once or twice a week we stop by the library on the way home from her preschool. I pick up my hold books, she plays on the computer for a little bit and then she goes to the shelves and picks three or four picture books to bring home. Her methodology seems to involve picking a specific shelf and then pulling books off at random until she finds covers that tickle her fancy.

One a recent trip to the library Harriet picked the G section of the shelve
...more
Rebecca Ostrega
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my first multi-cultural book review:

The story is about a little girl named Elena that wants to become a glassblower like her father. He refuses because she's a girl, too little, and could get burned. So, Elena decides to dress up like a boy and visit the next town where great glassblowers reside. Along the way, Elena blows on a pipe and makes beautiful music. Animals decide to help her get to the town faster because of the sounds that come out of the pipe. When she finally gets to the to
...more
Kat
This book is fun, quirky, and absolutely beautiful.

Elena is the daughter of a glassblower in Mexico. She wants to learn to blow glass like her father, but he tells her she is too little and besides, "who ever heard of a girl glassblower?" Elena did not like that response at all. She dresses up as a boy and runs away to Monterey where she learns to blow glass. Along the way, she uses her glass blowing pipe to play beautiful music that makes her some unusual friends. Her music still comes out whe
...more
Jamie
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Main Characters: Elena
Setting: Various places in Mexico
POV: 3rd person
Grade Level: Early Elementary (K-4)
Summary:
This children’s book is set in Mexico. Elena is a young girl who grows up watching her papa work. Her papa is a glassblower who makes bottles. She dreams that she will one day grow up to follow in her papa’s footsteps and become a glassblower when she grows up. Unfortunately, her papa criticizes this dream because is female and small. Elena is very upset and ends up leaving her home t
...more
Nancy Meservier
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mattie Weck
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The first thing that caught my eye in this book was the style of the illustrations which convey a sense of modern folk-art. After reading this story, I would say that it is definitely a story I would incorporate into my classroom, because not only does it show an important lesson, it is also well written and includes great illustrations. The illustrator uses great color combinations that draw the eye and effectively keep the reader’s attention on the main character and her changing emotions thro ...more
Cierra Garrison
Elena's Serenade is a great book. It's not necessarily my favorite that I've ever read, but there are many elements in this book that could make awesome teaching points. In this book, Elena, a young girl living in Mexico wants nothing more than to be a glassblower, but unfortunately, her Dad is not supportive of her dream. He thinks that glassblowing is strictly for boys. Elena refuses to give up her dream so disguises herself as a boy and sets off to the city of Monterrey, which is notorious fo ...more
Maggie Mullis
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: text-set
Elena is a young girl who lives in Mexico. She wants to become a glassblower like her Father, but is told that girls can't be glassblowers. She decides that she is going to impersonate a boy, and travel to Monterrey to conquer her dreams.

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the beautifully illustrated cover. Although I thought it was a little stereotypical that Elena is wearing all pink.The story empowers young girls by showing that they can accomplish anything they put their minds to.
...more
Christy
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Who ever heard of a girl glassblower?

In Mexico, where the sun is called el sol and the moon is called la luna, a little girl called Elena wants to blow into a long pipe...and make bottles appear, like magic.

But girls can't be glassblowers. Or can they?

Join Elena on her fantastic journey to Monterrey — home of the great glassblowers! — in an enchanting story filled wi
Who ever heard of a girl glassblower?
In Mexico, where the sun is called el sol and the moon is called la luna, a little girl ca
...more
Crista
Elena is determined to become a glass blower even after papa says no. Along the way she plays music, helps friends, and discovers she can do amazing things.

This story contains beautiful illustrations that would be perfect to use when discussing color and shape. This story can be used in the classroom when discussing perseverance, breaking stereotypes, the role of women, use of disguise, and the power of music.

Being set in Mexico, this is a great story for your multicultural shelves because it is
...more
529_Gary
May 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Elena is bound and determined to learn how to blow glass like her father. Her father thinks she is to young and besides a girl doesn't blow glass. Elena sets out on an adventure to go to Monterey because they blow the finest glass there. She dress up and pretends to be a boy. She makes the most beautiful glass. While she is making the glass she is also singing and such beautiful pieces come out like stars or butterflies. On her way to Monterey she befriends animals and teaches them things. When ...more
Jonathan
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 566-picturebooks
This book initially captured my interest when it was on display in the Chihuly Resource Room at Franklin Park Conservatory. I only had a chance to flip through the pages at the time, but what I saw was enough for me to purchase the book. Having just read it, I have to say it lived up to my expectations. The charming illustrations and rich, almost lulling, text made me feel as though I had been transported to Mexico and was traveling alongside the narrator in her adventure. The ethnic feel of bot ...more
595AJ__Margaret
This is a charming story about a little Mexican girl, Elena, who wants to be a glass blower like her father. She faces many obstacles in achieving her dream, including being a too young and a girl. While this story takes on many elements of fantasy, it shows that with determination one can achieve their dreams. Both the descriptive words and colorful pictures create a engaging tale that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. This story includes many Spanish phrases and words. The character ...more
Kira
Text: 5 Stars
Illustrations: 4.5 Stars

Elena wants to become a glassblower, but her father says girls can't become one. So Elena disguises herself as a boy and goes on a journey to prove her father wrong.

A creative and empowering story about a little girl going against the odds, achieving her goals, and discovering herself. It incorporates simple facts about Mexican culture without interrupting the flow of the story. Ana Juan's illustrations are amazing as always. They are beautiful and adorable a
...more
Alice
Jun 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-75-stars
3.75 stars Girls can do anything boys can do...and sometimes better!! Elena wants to be a glass blower but her dad says she is too little, it is too dangerous and she is a girl.

So she runs away to Monterrey where she can be an amazing glass blower. She does come home to show her dad her talents he is happy to see her and they blow glass together.

If this story was true, I would probably give it a 4.5 stars but as of now it is a 3.75 stars. Pictures aren't my test but good enough!
...more
Karen Hixson
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Elena's Serenade by Campbell Geeslin has bright colorful illustrations. I found it fun that in the very front it has a spanish-english glossary this could easily be used for an introduction to the English language and well as the Spanish language for young children. Elana wants to be a glass blower like her father but her father tells her girls can't do it, so she set off on an adventure with an old pipe of her fathers. With determination in her heart she proves that a person can do anything the ...more
The Brothers
A story of a little Mexican girl who wants to be a glassblower like her papa, only he says girls aren't glassblowers. She heads off to Monterrey to learn from the glassblowers there. On the way she learns how to use her blowpipe as a musical pipes and serenades many animals to their benefit. Using her serenading technique, when she blows glass she creates beautiful sculptures and animals that impress everyone. Finally she goes home and even impresses her father with her skills.

Beautiful illustra
...more
Amanda BeReckonedwith
This book is set in Mexico about a headstrong young girl whose father tells her girls cannot be glassblowers, which is his work. She disguises herself and goes to Monterrey to disobey her father and learn glassblowing. Along the way she makes animal friends and teaches herself to play music with her glassblowing pipe. She amazes the glassblowers of Monterrey with her unusual and beautiful skill and then returns home to surprise her father with all she has accomplished.
Cordelia Dinsmore
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a quieter book, and some of the artwork was a little disconcerting for my five-year-old, because she thought the expressions indicated anger. But overall the story was very interesting and it held her attention. Learning about glassblowing, told in a way she could easily understand it, proved to be a fun journey for her, and me. We especially enjoyed Elena's disguise, and the amazing creations she produced with the glass. ...more
QGloriahaywood1 Haywood
May 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Elena's wants to become a glass blower like her father, but he tells her that this job is for men only. One day Elena dresses up like a boy and walks to Monterey where there are a lot of glass blowers. She becoes a glass blower. She blows the most beautiful shapes because she blows to the tune of music. A wonderful story to read to primary students. ...more
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