Robyn Schaefer's Reviews > And Tango Makes Three

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
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Feb 25, 2010

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bookshelves: read_childrens-fiction

(YouTube Video) Wow, I had never heard of this book until now, but after reading the article this week I was very interested in seeing firsthand how the topic of same-sex couples was depicted in children's literature. I watched this reading on You Tube as well, and totally have mixed feelings.

First of all, I would have found this animal-version of same sex coupling a bit hokey, and a little bit of a cop-out in dealing with the relevant contemporary issue, had it not been for the fact that this was a TRUE story. That made it much more powerful for me, and is something that would get children thinking about the reality of same-sex attraction.

And the same way I disapprove of the ban on same-sex marriages in most states, I was really disappointed to learn through research that this was "the most challenged book of 2006, 2007, and 2008, as well as the most banned book of 2009." (Wikipedia) Gay parenting is a reality, it is growing, and it is here to stay. I believe there needs to be more literature to both promote tolerance and allow children of gay families to see themselves in literature. And if people can't even deal with a scenario involving penguins, how are they ever going to accept depictions of actual gay PEOPLE in picture books.

With that said, and I know this will sound hypocritical, despite the importance of this book I don't know that I would read it to my kids. As far as I know, none of my students have openly gay parents and I just don't think (my boys in particular) would respond seriously and appropriately. I have a classroom climate in which kids are free to express their raw reactions and opinions to read alouds and I can just picture the reading not quite going the way I plan. Like I said, hypocritical, I know.

Bottom line, we still have a LONG way to go in the treatment of same-sex couples in children's literature.
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12/28/2014 marked as: read_childrens-fiction

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