Friday, June 12, 2009

Most Challenged Book: And Tango Makes Three

This picture book was the most challenged book of 2006, 2007 & 2008, according to the American Library Association.

Written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
And Tango Makes Three is the story of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who fall in love and raise a chick.

It has been banned for being "anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group"

The charge of being "anti-ethnic" is ridiculous as the book doesn't deal with ethnicity at all. It is the complete opposite of "anti-family", nor does it have a religious viewpoint. The language and handling of the subject are entirely within the comprehension level of a Kindergartner & it isn't about sex or sexual acts.

And Tango Makes Three is based on a true story. Two male penguins in the Central Park zoo did become a couple and raised a chick named Tango. They were together 6 years & then one went for a female.

Apparently, he was bisexual.

But the point is that Tango, the little penguin, was raised by two males. It's a sweet little family story- the illustrations are cute. Perfect for children who are adopted, particularly if they are adopted by a gay couple. The reason why I feel it is important to have it available on the shelves is because I know children pick on the children of same sex couples.
I think this book could go a long way toward fighting this kind of bullying.


Crystalee said...

The irony is, I first heard about this book because it was so controversial. I think sometimes bad press can also bring interest and good press. What makes this arguement even more bizarre is that sexuality is never talked about in the book at all. In fact, male penguins have been known to raise babies together; it is not uncommon. And it's a TRUE story!

This is a darling book, and if it can be used to help children of gay parents, then all the better. I wish people would quit trying to ban books just because they convey a lifestyle or opinion that they personally don't believe in.

Book pusher said...

This is a beautiful book.

Mardel said...

In the school I work, there have been over the years (over 15 years) an average of 3 families each year that are same sex. In fact, it seems that these families are the ones taking in foster children and adopting children.
All the more reason to have it in the school library.

imbookingit said...

I bought this book for my daughter 3+ years ago because of the controversy and because she's a fan of penguins.

I gave it to her, she opened it and said "I love this book! My teacher read it to us!".

I love her school.

Glynis said...

Oh dear, surely children who would read this would just see it for what it is, a beautiful story? Why do adults have to spoil everything? crazy world.

Rebecc said...

I can't say I am surprised that this is the most frequently banned book since it came out. The people who usually ban books are the same type of people who are likely to be homophobic. So the Bible says don't sleep with the same sex. It also says it is better to be single than married, that coveting is a sin, and that adultery includes looking at someone else in lust. I don't see these same people picketing weddings, not keeping up with the Jones, and avoiding George Clooney like the plague. Just ridiculous.

Ali said...

It makes me sad that anyone would object to a book about penguins who love each other. This book looks so cute, maybe I'll read it for the GLBT Challenge.