Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “And Tango Makes Three” as Want to Read:
And Tango Makes Three
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

And Tango Makes Three

4.28  ·  Rating Details ·  6,931 Ratings  ·  1,248 Reviews
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.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published April 26th 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about And Tango Makes Three, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about And Tango Makes Three

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Marika Gillis
Feb 18, 2008 Marika Gillis rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
This true story about two penguins who live in the Central Park Zoo has been creating quite a controversy. I heard about the book this morning on The View (yes, I do inevitably end up watching four women squabbling on tv when I don't have to work, and controversies like this are the reason I keep going back!). After hearing about it, I just had to check out the book for myself at Barnes and Noble.

This children's book tells the story of Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins. Like all other ch
Lisa Vegan
Jun 26, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: absolutely everyone, especially kids 4-8 with same sex parents, but all kids & adults
Good grief Charlie Brown! What is all the fuss about this book, anyway?!?!!

This is a very sweet story. It’s the true tale about 2 male penguins who are a pair and how they came to tend an egg and then raise Tango, a baby penguin. This happens at the Central Park Zoo in New York City, and the illustrations really show off Central Park and the zoo; they’re beautiful and the expressions on the penguins’ faces are priceless.

This is a picture book for 4-8 year olds and it’s a wonderful story for kids
Oct 02, 2008 Marie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
This is apparently the #1 banned book in the country! My husband sought it out at the library, and it has a big red tag on the cover that says "BANNED!" I love the fact that it is a true story!
Miss Lynx Canadensis
Mar 08, 2012 Miss Lynx Canadensis rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
This is my 4-year-old son's very favourite book, which he has insisted on me reading to him almost every night before he goes to sleep ever since I bought it for him two years ago or so. There are other kids' books I like better myself, but this one is really sweet, and he loves it beyond all measure. He even named his stuffed toy penguin Tango (he had the toy before we got the book, but as soon as he heard the book read for the very first time, he decided the penguin was now Tango, and thus it ...more
May 30, 2010 Eastofoz rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who want to introduce same sex couples in literature to their children
Recommended to Eastofoz by: Children's group
Shelves: children-3-to-6r
What a very cute story this turned out to be. Two male penguins end up hatching an egg that was given to them by the zoo keeper and they raise a baby penguin to become part of their happy family. The controversy surrounding this book seems excessive in my opinion. Sure it has two male penguins and not a male and a female (where's the "tragedy" there?) but the focus is the love that they have for each other so much so that they want to start a family and share that love with a baby.

This is the f

“And Tango Makes Three” is an Aspca Henry Bergh Book award winning book about how two male penguins, Roy and Silo, try to have a child together. Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell along with illustrations by Henry Cole makes “And Tango Makes Three” a truly touching story about what it takes to make a true family.

Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell have done a great job at discussing one of the major issues in our society in a lighthearted and comforting way. Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Sep 14, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Somehow I never understood that this was based on Fact. Makes it less of a 'message' book and more worth reading, imo.
Finally read. Enjoyed much more than I thought I would. I wonder if, had it been shelved in non-fiction, it would have raised such a furor. 'Course, then probably not as many folks would have read it, and that would be a bad thing.

Do yourself a favor; spend ten minutes reading a banned book.
A perfect book. The paintings are beautiful, totally the kind I'd have poured over as a kid over and over again to catch all of the details of the lovely animals. The faces and body language for the penguins are so expressive, they would tell the story even without words. And the story is so touching and lovely, it actually got me all teared up. I know what it's like to want a baby and not be able to have one. It's such a sweet and wonderful story to see these two little guys get the family they ...more
Apr 28, 2009 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Review Updated*SEE COMMENTS*

Encouraged by my friend Chandra's positive review, I decided to finally give this book a try. It's popularity and controversy made me tentative before--not due to the subject, but because I thought it might have been a platform book meant to push an agenda, rather than simply tell a good story. Upon reading, I have come to the decision that it is both.

This is the very sweet true story of two penguins from the Central Park Zoo who happen to be male, happen to adore one
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}

I chose this for Banned Books Week but I couldn't wait any longer to read it.

Disappointingly my library copy came with a warning slapped on the cover. What's to be frightened about with 'same sex families'?

And Tango Makes Three

Based on a real life story, two male penguins pair up and want what comes naturally to all other animals. They want to to procreate.

And every morning Roy and Silo woke up together. But one day Roy and Silo saw that the other couples could do something they could not.


Roy and Silo had n
Sep 16, 2008 Kimberlyn rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Roxana Truţa
Jan 08, 2017 Roxana Truţa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We're in the year 2017 and a book as innocent as this is still a controversial subject, being banned from libraries and whatnot.

Homosexual behaviour is common and widespread in the animal world. Two gay spiders may be having enjoyable intercourse right now in your very own living room! It's not abnormal, it's just nature following its... natural course.

Someone finally decided to make a book based on a true story, depicting two male chinstrap penguins who decided to sit on a rock and take care of
Feb 04, 2016 Julia rated it it was amazing
This was the adorable true story of Silo and Roy, two male penguins who were given an egg by their caretaker at the Central Park Zoo in 2000. This was very cute and does an excellent job of illustrating what homosexuality means. The artwork was also adorable. It was just great all around.
Jun 06, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: illustrated
Such a lovely and beautiful story!

I adored everything: the storytelling and the illustrations both were amazing. Now I really want to get myself a physical copy of this book.
I bought this from Audible to listen to with my children yesterday, but we're just getting around to it today. This is the fictionalized true account of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who live in the Central Park Zoo. A brief history of these two penguins included them partaking in non-sexual mating habits. They'd wanted a chick and had been observed trying to steal the eggs of other couples (not mentioned in the book, obviously,) until the zookeepers finally gave them the egg of a couple who ...more
May 09, 2008 Krista rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
As fond followers of ALA’s “Banned Book Week” would admit, when a title such as this one is added to the infamous list, it only makes circulation numbers on the title go up as well as critical discussion on the values of the work. The fact that the plot is based on a true story adds so much narrative power and reliability, and makes Richardson’s work one of the most excellent and relevant sources out of the fairly lackluster and minimal collection on this topic to date. Richardson is an assistan ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Cute story about 2 male penguins who hatch an egg and become parents at the zoo in Central Park. Apparently this actually happened at the zoo. There was a book that came out a while back about homosexuality in nature--Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity by Bruce Bagemihl. This incident at the zoo would seem to bear out the author's observations. Most interesting.
Oct 29, 2016 Nynke rated it it was amazing
I love penguins. I own more than 50 plush penguins.

I read this and I was totally tearing up because it is so cute. Go forth, and read it. The story is adorable, and the illustrations are excellent; colourful and detailed.

On a more serious note, I cannot bloody believe that this book was the FOURTH most banned/challenged book in the US in the years 2000-2009. (

Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Note to detractors: THIS IS A TRUE STORY! The art is simple but sweet and fairly colorful considering the pictures are of penguins in their barren habitat. The story is beautifully told, with a minimum of anthropomorphizing. It's just one of those feel good books that you just have to read. I recommend it for everyone who can handle the idea that two male penguins can fall in love.
A cute read. Two male penguins are given an egg to hatch after they build a nest and sit on rocks. The baby is Tango. True story.

I checked it out after I found it was banned.

The baby penguins are really, really cute in these drawings.

I liked it.
Akemi G
Found this book in the list of banned books.
Banned? In the 21st century? This cute, literally fuzzy love story? Love that is not only romantic and caring (which is quite good in its own right) but also committed to form a family?

I like the feeling of peace this story conveys, and how it's presented as the story of a family. From the same list, I also checked Heather Has Two Mommies, which I found too boring, with a hidden argumentative tone, as in "Yeah, Heather has two moms, so what? What's w
Kathy Worrell  ツ
Audiobook read by Neal Patrick Harris

In honor of Banned Book Week* I chose to read, And Tango Makes three. A true story of two male Penguins in the Central Park Zoo who raised a baby penguin named, Tango.

I would like to pick up the hard copy to check out the illustrations.

*Tango challenged some Americans' ideas and assumptions about homosexuality, age-appropriateness of the material, and raised the thorny question about what makes a family. Since its publication by Simon and Shuster in 2005,
Anna Kļaviņa
This book tells a true story about two male penguins ,Roy and Silo, who were given an egg and they hatched & raised a baby girl penguin Tango.

I read this to Kaito who liked the story & pictures. He thought it's silly that the pair tried to hatch a rock when they could steal an egg. He was pleased when zookeeper gave to the couple the egg to hatch.

After finishing the story, we had nice chat about family and that if you really wish for something it's not impossible.

Mar 10, 2015 Debra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
It's a shame this book got banned in schools. It's such a sweet true-life story. There are, after all, ALL types of families. I loved it and if I had little ones to read to, I'd share this sweet story with them.
Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog
~ ~ ~

This should be on everyone's reading shelf! Perfectly poignant and delightful.

Oct 23, 2016 Toni FGMAMTC rated it really liked it
Adorable children's book
I love it. So sweet. #loveislove even for penguins :)
Dec 13, 2013 Alice rated it liked it
I have wanted to read this book to see what all the hype is about...and hype it all is.

In an of itself the story is true interesting and the pictures are good. If you want to know what I think about the content read below. As a librarian, I ordered this book because I don't believe in censorship. I believe in having materials available that families might need. I believe it shouldn'tbe locked away or on a high shelf or behind the desk. If people need to talk about this subject, it will be on ou
**DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any grammar mistakes or bad use of vocabulary because I wrote this at 2 in the morning when I couldn't sleep. **

ALRIGHT. SO. Adorable, honest, accepting, and did I mention how cute this is?!?!? If I ever become a Mom, this is going in my kid's bookshelf no matter what.

As soon as I saw this on a website of banned books, I immediately looked for it on the library website. Well...that's not technically true. I first went on a five minute rant about ignorance a
Oct 25, 2015 Ladiibbug rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: banned-books, animals
Non Fiction - Children's Book *Banned Book*

5 big stars! A delightful true story

At New York's Central Park zoo: Two male chin-strap penguins (which have a delicate line of black feathers, as if it were a strap, holding a hat in place). When it became time for males to match up with females, Roy and Silo remained together, swimming, walking, singing and bowing to each other.

Roy and Silo watched other penguins build a nest of stones for an egg, and did the same. But they did not have an egg. Still
Sep 27, 2014 Snotchocheez marked it as to-read
And so Julie and I go today (Saturday, September 27, 2014) to the library, where they're celebrating "Banned Books Week". In front of the circulation desk is a shelf of books with big red "BANNED" placards attached to and obscuring their front covers. Upon closer examination, books like Catch-22, Beloved, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Chocolate War, are displayed. On the top of the shelf, an obscured (but obviously a children's picture book) title looks down at my daughter an ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Week Four Book Reviews 2 10 Jan 11, 2015 09:47AM  
  • King and King
  • In Our Mothers' House
  • Mommy, Mama, and Me
  • Uncle Bobby's Wedding
  • The Family Book
  • Daddy's Roommate
  • 10,000 Dresses
  • The Sissy Duckling
  • A Tale of Two Daddies
  • My Princess Boy
  • Molly's Family
  • A is for Activist
  • The Different Dragon
  • Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress
  • black is brown is tan
  • This Day in June
  • Oliver Button Is a Sissy
  • William's Doll

Share This Book