Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Banned Book Showcase: And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: April 26th, 2005

In the zoo there are all kinds of animal families. But Tango's family is not like any of the others. This illustrated children's book fictionalizes the true story of two male penguins who became partners and raised a penguin chick in the Central Park Zoo.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Why I'm Showcasing This Book:

Because, SERIOUSLY?  This children's picture was the MOST Banned book in 2008 for it's depiction of homosexual penguins.  Riiiiight.  First of all, this book never says anything about the penguins being gay or homosexual AT ALL.  It says that they enjoyed each other's company more than that of the female penguins, but to a small child, that really isn't any different than "Daddy wanting to watch football with Uncle Eric instead of hanging out with Mommy."- only an issue if it's made an issue by grown-ups.  Second of all, why would it matter if it did?  Personally, I would rather my kids learn that homosexuality is something that while different from what they are used to, is not abnormal.  I would rather they learn this from a picture book at age 3 or 5 than by inadvertently seeing two guys making out in the park.  It's there and it's not going to change.  If we teach children from a young age about tolerance and the fact that families come in all shapes and sizes, whether people think it's right or not, they will not grow up with hateful hearts.  If their book-challenging parents teach them that a book should be banned because it's sheds a positive light on something that really happened, they learn not only that something that is all around them is "wrong" and "unnatural", but they learn that their ideas are the only ones ones that should be heard and if they consider something wrong, it shouldn't be voiced- Constitution be damned!  This book is beautiful, and this far-from-liberal, Christian mother of three is proud to call it a part of our family library!


I probably got this point across in my reasoning for showcasing this book, but I loved this book.  It is sweet and touching, totally real, and most important, it puts forth a very wonderful message; "God does not make mistakes!".  I believe that God is about love and tolerance (he certainly tolerates enough nonsense from the human race!).  These penguins had love in their hearts for each other and when Tango's egg needed care, they were there to nurture it.  Because of their nurturing, what would have been a discarded egg, became a life.  They were a true family, even if they weren't what some consider a "conventional" one.  This story is great way to introduce small children to the fact that love is what makes a family, and that just because something is different from what you are used to, doesn't mean it's wrong.

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Grade Level Recommendation: Obviously, this book is for all ages!

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway for the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop Where You Can Win A Copy of This Book HERE**


  1. Just put this on hold at the library!!

  2. I have not read yet but after reading your review will have to get it. With childrens books if adults would step down or think on a childs level they would see that the adult is reading more into a situation than there really is... Thanks for the great review and supporting Banned Books...

  3. I haven't had the chance to read this yet but I really want to. It seems like a sweet book, and it's frustrating that people will ban something for such closed minded reasoning.

  4. I don't have any small children so this isn't an issue for me at all, but after reading your review, I plan to find the book and read it so that if the issue comes up, I will have the background to voice an opinion! Thanks!


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