Esther's Reviews > And Tango Makes Three

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
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's review
Mar 06, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: informational-biography, multicultural-international-literat, other-diversities

Published in 2005 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Interest Level: 3rd-6th Grade

This is based on a true story about a same-sex penguin couple that are given an egg to hatch. At first it seems as if the couple are just a cute duo of male penguin friends. Then they are given an egg to hatch together and it is clear they are a same-sex couple. This depiction of homosexuality is a less overt way to explain and show its implications and concerns. The book has drawings that allow for a picture book feel, even though the story is based on a real same-sex penguin couple.

This book could start a great discussion of what makes a family, how families come together, and how to accept different types of families. Although this may be a touchy subject for many students, parents, and schools it is necessary to have a diversity of examples of families so that students can come to accept differences that they will find in the community. The picture book format is a great way to introduce a serious subject in a sensitive and thoughtful way.

The only problem I have with this book is where it was shelved in my public library, which was the non-fiction animal area. Books like this that are about different diversities need to be accessible to students and parents, but it is debatable where they should be shelved. Personally, I think in my public library this book has been cataloged incorrectly and hopefully books like this can be better cataloged and understood by the community in a more open way in the future.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Nancy Maybe the librarian only saw the book as two penguins who love their baby. I think if the authors had not put in the line, “they must be in love,” young children may just see the book in this way. At the library I went to it was placed in the parent/teacher section, which didn’t seem to get much attention from library patrons. I really loved the cute and funny penguin illustrations, which personally, I think is what very little ones would focus in on more than the homosexuality part. I thought the authors did a great job telling a story of acceptance and what makes a family. These issues of gender and adoption will inevitably come up sooner or later as children grow up and this book is a gentle way to introduce the subjects. Although I don’t believe penguins can really be “gay”(research into animal behaviors could explain it--survival of the species?), parents certainly have the right to monitor what their children read.

Julia I'm not sure where I would place this book. I loved the story and I think that it should be accessible by all. I wonder if the parents at my school would have a hard time with their children bringing this book home. Because I work in a K-2 school, I think that the students would just see this as a really cool story about penguins. As a parent, I would use the book as a teaching opportunity about love, family and acceptance.

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