Saturday, July 27, 2013

And Tango Makes Three

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell.  Illustrated by Henry Cole: At the Central Park Zoo, there is a penguin family unlike any other.

I know the controversy surrounding this book very well.  I have heard about it from colleagues at school and I have read some of its reviews. Some of my classmates work in bookstores and have told me stories where they are not allowed to keep this book on the shelves because people get offended by it. The reviews, I had to stop reading those because the clear prejudice and blatant homophobia was too much to bear.  

I really love this book.  The story is so well written and full of warmth that you really cannot help it. I believe this book highlights the fact that there are many forms of family and that no one definition is fitting. 

This book focuses on the same-sex penguin couple Roy and Silo located at the Central Park Zoo. It uses their story to introduce the topic of same-sex couples and their adoption of children to young readers.  I think the book handles this beautifully.  It also shows just how amazing these two fathers are when it comes to caring for their adopted child.  They work together to take care of the egg and when Tango is finally born, they teach him how to do what penguins do (i.e. swim).

If anything, this story shows just how not different same-sex couples with children are.  They, like single parent family units and heterosexual family units, want what is best for the child.  

This story is not really about the penguins at all.  At its core, it is about family and about raising a child with love.  Why shouldn't family units of all forms be able to do something so basic as that?

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