Friday, August 22, 2008

And Tango Makes Three

by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole

I love this book.

Based on the incredibly sweet and true story of a gay male penguin couple (Roy and Silo) at the New York City Central Park Zoo, who bond and build a nest of stones - and try to hatch a pebble. When there's an extra egg that needs a family, the zookeeper gives it to Roy and Silo, and they end up raising the little girl penguin that hatches, Tango.

There are many animal families in the Central Park Zoo, but Tango is the first one to have two Daddies.

"And Tango Makes Three" was the MOST challenged book in the United States of America for the last two years! (A "challenge" is when a parent or other adult protests the inclusion of a book in a library's collection.) And if things like that make you mad as hell, you should check out AS IF: Young Adult Authors Supporting Intellectual Freedom whose blog includes some great news and discussions regarding the continuing challenges facing many books today...

As a gay Daddy, I have experienced many times over how "And Tango Makes Three" is a fantastic tool for talking to people about MY family. It's a great starting point for discussing MY daughter having two Daddies, and about how at the end of the day, being a good parent is not about gender. It is about devotion, selflessness, and love.

I love this book. I love reading it to my child. And to have had it read to me when I was a child would have been so wonderful...

Thank you, Justin, Peter, and Henry!

Truly, this book makes me so happy.


Kyle said...

I had this book out all last year. It was read many, many times by every third grader in my class. Some even had it thier book bags. Not one student commented on the family being different. My conclusion: Kids see family love, not what makes up the families. It is the adults that make them react.

Emily Lloyd said...

Hi. I write a library web comic, "Shelf Check," and have written a few strips on And Tango Makes Three in the past:

I'm hoping to spread the word about a button that reads "I read And Tango Makes Three to my kids" that folks can wear for Banned Books week (or, hey, year-round). The button is here:

It's $1.95, the lowest base price Zazzle offers--I'm not looking to make a profit. It's also fully customizable, so your can substitute "niece" or "patrons" for "kids," etc. Please consider taking a peek, and thanks for this post.

College Cutie said...

Aw, this book looks absolutely adorable.
I'm tempted to buy a copy just so I can indulge my love of penguins (and read it to all the kids I know, of course).

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

you should buy it, or at the very least, get it from your local library and read it - it's absolutely wonderful, and soul-healing!


Book Dragon said...

I reviewed this here and thought it was great.