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March of the Gay Penguins

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For the second year in a row, the book And Tango Makes Three make parents the most mad.

Penguins Roy and Silo and their daughter, Tango, of the award-winning book And Tango Makes Three shouldn't stress about making the American Library Association's annual most-challenged books list. They're in good company. In fact, celebrated children's author Judy Blume has five titles on the "100 Most Frequently Challnged Books" list.

To be a "challenged" book means it received the most hate mail, and And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnel has plenty. What's irking some parents is the glorification of the non-traditional family, the equivalent of the sitcom My Two Dads, only with gay penguins.

The story, however, is true. Roy and Silo, two chinstrap penguins that reside in New York's Central Park, became at one time an inseparable couple. The zookeepers observed the pair desperately trying to hatch a rock and gave them a real egg instead. The result was the birth of a baby chick that zookeepers named Tango. Alas, their union, like many heterosexual marriages, ended after their baby chick was raised.

Dana Rudolf, founder of Mommian, an award-winning LGBT website, says that many parents object to books depicting same-sex marriage because they think it contains references to sexuality. "This is wrong," says Rudolf. "One never needs to mention sex in order to teach young children that there are many types of families, including those with a mom and a dad, two moms, two dads, a single parent, adoptive and birth parents, or parents of different races."

Would you object to your children reading And Tango Makes Three?

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
beckie May 10, 2008, 5:50 PM

I have no problem with it at all. It’s shows one of the variety of families that exist in the real world, in a non-scary, kinda cute way ;)

Jessica May 10, 2008, 10:07 PM

This book sounds fantastic….. It’s an excellent resource to bring understanding to people who don’t “know” of any gay people in their lives, but will also help the many number of children that have one or two gay parents.
Thanks for highlighting this book to a wider audience.

ann starling May 10, 2008, 10:10 PM

Of course now! Being a gay parent myself, we are fortunate to have 5 kids and 7 grandkids of our own. Even though most were “raised” before we joined forces, they are all accepting of our relationship and view us as Mom and OMom (othermom), nana and nannie to our grandchildren. I think that children see the variations of families as far less problematic than many grownups.

Summer May 11, 2008, 8:01 PM

It is such a cute story. My oldest son loves penguins and this is one of his favorites. :)

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