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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

And Tango Makes Three... Banned

 And Tango Makes ThreeAn award-winning fictional juvenile book, "And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, has taken the #1 spot on the American Library Association's Top Ten List of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2010. The book was banned, challenged and/or deemed inappropriate by librarians, teachers and parents because of homosexuality, religious viewpoint and for being unsuitable for its age group (ages 4-7).

The book is based on a true story of two male Chinstrap Penguins, Roy and Silo, in New York's Central Park Zoo, who for six years formed a pairing. After the two male penguins were observed trying to hatch a rock that resembled an egg, zookeepers decided to give them a real egg to hatch that had come from a male & female pairing who had difficulty hatching two eggs at once.

The male penguins hatched the egg successfully, and a healthy chick named "Tango" was born. The males raised Tango, forming a family unit.

Also on the American Library Association's Top Ten List of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2010 is "Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins and "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer.

Coming off the list is "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker, "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee and "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger.

So what do you think about "And Tango Makes Three"? Should this book be banned or challenged by public libraries & school libraries? Should it even be on the list? Would you let your children read this book?


  1. I'm not sure what it means for a book to be "challenged". Also when you say "banned", banned from what???

    On a personal note, I would not let my child read this book. It would not represent our family nor would it represent what I would hope our family to ever become.

    I can understand if some other "alternative" families wanted to introduce this concept to their children but that would be their choice. I would not.

  2. I am referring to banned as in prohibiting an individual or institution from free access to a book due to personal, religious or political ideologies by persons in the role of authority who can make those decisions; like librarians, teachers and parents.

    Challenged as in ojecting to the use of individual books or reading material as a means of literary enjoyment, enhancement or enrichment because of the topic or theme present in a particular book.

  3. I would not prohibit my children from reading this particular book. I think it's adorable that two male penguins paired up for six years and raised a baby penguin. I don't see the homosexual nature there. I see two penguins mutually raising a chick. There are so many different kinds of families nowadays other than the traditional nuclear family. I would want my kids to understand that, and perhaps if they came across a friend that lived in a non-traditional family, they would be comfortable without being confused. My hope would be the other child would not experience any isolation or discrimination from other children because they weren't privy to other kinds of living arrangements.

    And I can see Localsmithy, where this book would have no place in someone's household because people have different beliefs and values. But it can be used a wonderful tool to other kids who may not understand in any other fashion.

    An interesting note about the real penguins(Roy and Silo) is they left the union after the six years and Silo found him a female penguin :-) Roy stayed single. Tango paired up with a female penguin when she reached her breeding cycle. :-)

  4. The book is based on a true story, and children should be free to read it. Love knows no boundaries. As I understand it, homosexuality exists throughout nature, but I'm sure this book is not explicitin in that way.

  5. I agree with you Lineofserenity. same sex pair up often in nature.

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  7. As a student of early childhood education in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, I have to praise this book as a promoter of tolerance, which is a worthy value to instill in our children- ones closed-minded beliefs on homosexuality should have no influence on the goal of instilling tolerance for differences- unless we're planning on keeping our children wrapped in the plastic bubble of our inflexible beliefs for the rest of their lives.

  8. I wholeheartedly concur with you Tamar. The book's theme of love & acceptance for me is what touched me. I think anytime humans or animals can show tolerance through love and acceptance it's a great thing, especially for children. Children learn what they know from what they see, and that's generally from adults, but if we as mature parents and adults don't explain the cultural & personal differences that predominately exist in society, children can become confused and intolerable to that which they are unfamiliar with.

    Thanks Tamar. :-)


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