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And Tango Makes Three

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  10,726 ratings  ·  1,806 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. ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Rachel Yes, according to the author's note in the back of the book, it is based on a true story.…moreYes, according to the author's note in the back of the book, it is based on a true story.(less)

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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  10,726 ratings  ·  1,806 reviews

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Marika Gillis
Feb 18, 2008 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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I thought my schedule only allowed time for one banned/challenged book this week, but I guess I should know by now not to underestimate my reading superpower. Especially when the library had this one available as a little 10-minute audio choice. I opted for that version because me likey the listeny stuff sometimes and . . . .

High five to you, NPH.

Boy this little book has something to offend EVERYONE. The PETA people who think
Lisa Vegan
Jun 26, 2008 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 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! ...more
Miss Lynx Canadensis
Mar 08, 2012 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
Yusra  ✨
IF I am correct... this is the book Abby gives to Simon , the one about “gay penguins” 😊😊😊
Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)
...and love is love.

This nonfictional tale simply puts the topic of various love applications on the map for children to understand. In the animal world, if a partner fits one's life, so be it.

Nothing more to say. Other than, this is a lovely story that should be in every library throughout the world.

May 30, 2010 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-9r
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
I will say first and foremost that I totally hate hate hate with every fibre of my being anyone who thinks and believes that banning and censoring books is anything other than undemocratic and dictatorial Stalinism and Nazism (and that yes, as a person of German background, there indeed is a very good and necessary reason for me to react this absolutely negatively towards ANY AND ALL attempts at censorship and book banning and I will also not ever consider my animosity towards this with either g ...more
Aug 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
A book based on the true story about two male penguins who, after being given an egg by the zookeeper, form their own nuclear family and raise a baby penguin.

This book is a good example of the importance of affections. It begins with inviting and colorful illustrations of families enjoying Central Park in NYC. It's a calculated attempt to make the bending of traditional/biblical sexual ethics acceptable. Such an attempt will be successful among uncritical readers.

The assumption seems to be that
MissBecka Gee
It's an adorable picture book about penguins.
If that doesn't already have you adding it to your list, it's also a true story.
Still not sure?
The audio version is narrated by Neil Patrick Harris.
You can have Neil Patrick Harris read you a bedtime story.

Loved this book!!!
Now to plan a trip back to NYC so I can visit these penguins in real life.

“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
Schizanthus Nerd
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s Banned Books Week and the theme for 2018 is Banning Books Silences Stories. If someone tells me not to do something I want to do it even more so I was really excited when I came across Humble Bundle’s Forbidden Books bundle which you can find here until the bundle expires in 7 days. This is the first book I’ve read from the bundle.

Of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2017 (as reported by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom) the ninth most challenged book is
Sep 14, 2016 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
I heard this story in the news a decade ago and I got to read it to my niblings today. They had some good questions and this isn't new for them. They have seen plenty of same-sex couples.

A great story about what really happened. As they say love is love. I love this book and I'm so glad this is out there for the LGBT children coming along in the world. This is a wonderful thing.

A very sweet story. A happy family and a loving relationship.
Apr 28, 2009 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
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Our local library actually had this on display for pride month. So I picked it up for my son. We both enjoyed it immensely. I love that it's based on a true story. So sweet!
Sep 16, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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I read this for banned book week 2018. I find it so sad that people want to ban this book because two male penguins become a family. It is a true story and it is a sweet story about two penguins that become a couple and want a baby penguin. Their keeper rescues an egg and gives it to them to adopt. They take good care of their baby and it grows into a healthy penguin.

Read 9/27/18
Roxana Truţa
Jan 08, 2017 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
Karma♥Bites ^.~
**In Honor of 2018 Banned Books Week (Sept 23-29)**

Either I’ve lived under a boulder for the past decade or the controversy re: this book was such a non-issue in my RL that I was surprised to see it listed on a Banned/Challenged Books list.

OMG, srsly?? Wonder what made it ‘worse’—portrayal of same-sex animal couple/parenting in general (as if that doesn’t exist in animal kingdom *snort*) or fact that story is based on RL penguin pair in NYC’s Central Park Zoo?

Newsweek article (24 Sept 2018)
Feb 04, 2016 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.
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
Akemi G.
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
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. ...more
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.

Oct 29, 2016 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. ...more
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Ferial Pearson Mu...: Narva- And Tango Makes Three- LGBTQ 1 6 Jun 11, 2018 11:12AM  
Book Review - Gutierrez 1 4 Jun 03, 2018 10:28AM  

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