Monday, August 1, 2011

And Tango Makes Three

Richardson, J., & Parnell, P. (2005). And Tango makes three. New York: Simon & Schuster Books.
This is one of the Most Challenged books.  The story is about a penguin who has two dads instead of a mom and a dad.  In the book, this message is made very clear, so even though it is a true story, there appears to be a message in it also.

This is a true story about two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who developed a close friendship that led to them mimicking other penguin couples at the zoo.  The two penguins, Roy and Silo, did everything like the other penguin couples, other than actually have a baby penguin.  They even went so far as sitting on a rock, hoping that a baby penguin would hatch.  The zoo keeper eventually found them an egg, which they cared for until it hatched, and out came Tango, their very own baby penguin.  They then raised Tango and cared for her, like all the other penguin families at the zoo. It definitely has a "happily ever after" ending. 

This story is illustrated beautifully by Henry Cole.  These illustrations support the story and help the reader see the love between this penguin family.  The authors do make it clear throughout the story that these are two boy penguins, and how they didn't pay attention to the girl penguins.  At one point, their keeper says, "They must be in love."  As with other books, I wonder about the purpose of this book.  Is it to tell a story about two penguins at the zoo or is there an deeper message in the text?  Young readers would not understand the deeper message, but the adults in their world would, which is how this book became a "most challenged" book.  It is a sweet story, but I have discovered that it is not in any school library in my district.

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