Each year during Banned Books Week, I review a book that has been challenged frequently. In 2011, I chose to read and review And Tango Makes Three, written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. This picture book has been at the top of the list of most challenged books four times because of objections to the book's homosexual theme. Following is my review from September 24, 2011. Enjoy!
And Tango Makes Three, written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, is based on a true story of two penguins living in the Central Park Zoo, who fall in love and form a family. The reason the book has been challenged so much is that the penguins are both boys.
The authors start the story by describing Central Park and the zoo that is located there. They talk about the people visiting the zoo ~ all types of families. Then they explain that the animals in the zoo are families too. When they arrive at the penguin house, Richardson and Parnell tell readers that each year, the girl penguins and the boy penguins start noticing each other and become couples. But one pair of penguins was different. Silo and Roy were both boys, but they did everything together. They even built a nest together.
Their keeper watches the penguins as they mimic the other penguin couples and try to hatch a rock. He decides to give Roy and Silo an egg that needs to be cared for instead. The penguins spend much time sitting on the egg and keeping it warm until the day it cracks open, and little Tango comes out. The zookeeper calls her Tango because "It takes two to make a Tango."
This story was very sweet and full of love. I read it to both of my kids and they enjoyed it as well. M loved the part where the egg cracks open, and C thought it was cool that the book is based on a true story. Neither made a single comment about the fact that Tango has two daddies.
I would highly recommend And Tango Makes Three to families with two dads, two moms or those with adopted children, as I think children in those types of families would be able to relate well to the character of Tango. I also recommend it to anyone who wants to show their children that families come in all different forms ~ as well as to anyone who likes penguins, of course!