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And Tango Makes Three: 08/31/09

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell  has been the top on the list of the most challenged books in the United States in 2006, 2007 and 2008. When I saw it at my public library (yay!) I snatched it up to take home and read to my kids.

The book is based on facts. In 2000 Roy and Silo were given an egg from a two egg clutch knowing that the original parents had never successfully reared two eggs. Roy and Silo had been sitting on an egg shaped rock so the egg was given to them as a chance to let both eggs develop and for the two male penguins to be parents.

There is nothing overtly sexual or even biological about the way the story is told. The relationship between Roy and Silo boils down to "...Roy and Silo wound their necks around each other. Their keeper Mr. Gramzay noticed the two penguins and thought to himself, 'They must be in love.'" (p. 11).

Most of the story though is about families of all different types who either live at the zoo or come to visit the zoo. There is discussion (with lovely illustrations by Henry Cole) of the two penguins building a rock nest and watching their rock egg and later of Tango's egg hatching.

The language used in the book is completely appropriate for preschool and elementary school aged children. There's no agenda to the book; it's just a sweet story about families and penguins.

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Monday, August 31, 2009 at 17:37:09


This is one of my son's favorite books (he's 6) and in love with penguins. Thank you so much for highlighting this wonderful book.

Comment #2: Monday, September 07, 2009 at 20:10:41


You're welcome.

Comment #3: Tuesday, March 06, 2012 at 13:06:51


I read this book with my kids (4th or 5th grade, I forget) and then told them that it got banned a lot. They tried to guess why, and thought maybe the scene where the egg is hatched might be too graphic for some people. The middle schooler was the only one who figured out that people might think the book is about homosexuals.

Comment #4: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 at 16:54:30


Thank you for sharing your experience reading the book to a group.

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