- Age Range: 4 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (June 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0689878451
- ISBN-13: 978-0689878459
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 362 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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And Tango Makes Three Hardcover – June 1, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 3-This tale based on a true story about a charming penguin family living in New York City's Central Park Zoo will capture the hearts of penguin lovers everywhere. Roy and Silo, two male penguins, are "a little bit different." They cuddle and share a nest like the other penguin couples, and when all the others start hatching eggs, they want to be parents, too. Determined and hopeful, they bring an egg-shaped rock back to their nest and proceed to start caring for it. They have little luck, until a watchful zookeeper decides they deserve a chance at having their own family and gives them an egg in need of nurturing. The dedicated and enthusiastic fathers do a great job of hatching their funny and adorable daughter, and the three can still be seen at the zoo today. Done in soft watercolors, the illustrations set the tone for this uplifting story, and readers will find it hard to resist the penguins' comical expressions. The well-designed pages perfectly marry words and pictures, allowing readers to savor each illustration. An author's note provides more information about Roy, Silo, Tango, and other chinstrap penguins. This joyful story about the meaning of family is a must for any library.-Julie Roach, Watertown Free Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 2. Roy and Silo were "a little bit different" from the other male penguins: instead of noticing females, they noticed each other. Thus penguin chick Tango, hatched from a fertilized egg given to the pining, bewildered pair, came to be "the only penguin in the Central Park Zoo with two daddies." As told by Richardson and Parnell (a psychiatrist and playwright), this true story remains firmly within the bounds of the zoo's polar environment, as do Cole's expressive but still realistic watercolors (a far cry from his effete caricatures in Harvey Fierstein's The Sissy Duckling, 2002). Emphasizing the penguins' naturally ridiculous physiques while gently acknowledging their situation, Cole's pictures complement the perfectly cadenced text--showing, for example, the bewildered pair craning their necks toward a nest that was "nice, but a little empty." Indeed, intrusions from the zookeeper, who remarks that the nuzzling males "must be in love," strike the narrative's only false note. Further facts about the episode conclude, but it's naive to expect this will be read only as a zoo anecdote. However, those who share this with children will find themselves returning to it again and again--not for the entree it might offer to matters of human sexuality, but for the two irresistible birds at its center and for the celebration of patient, loving fathers who "knew just what to do." Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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What the world needs now is love sweet love,
It's the only thing that there's just too little of.
What the world needs now is love sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone!
The simplicity of the words husband and husband team Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell have used to tell the true story of a couple of male chinstrap penguins (Roy and Silo) at New York's Central Park Zoo, who had paired off as a couple and were given an extra fertilized egg to hatch on their way to becoming a family unlike any of the zoo's other animal families (but a family nonetheless!), makes this book a perfect way to begin naturally introducing the concepts of acceptance and inclusion to youngsters. The soft illustrations by Henry Cole are such a nice complement to the story - I'm really looking forward to sharing this special book with our four grandchildren, who will most certainly be meeting many families of varying composition during their lifetimes! The way baby Tango and his dads are welcomed by the children coming to see them after his birth is a good "footprint in the sand" to leave on a child's growing sense of the world around them.
I'm a dozen years late in my personal discovery of the book, so I missed the brouhaha surrounding its 2005 publication, having appeared on the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom's "Top Ten Most Challenged Book List" from 2006-2010, reappearing in 2012, and - sadly - again as late as 2014. This is such a gentle book, and to imagine literature that celebrates the love and devotion of parents would ever appear on such a list is disheartening. This is a sweet book that talks of the desire to share a home and a family (I'll type the text in the comment section below for parents/grandparents to read for themselves if they're on the fence about the book.) The younger of my two sons is gay, has been in a committed and happy relationship with his partner for seven years, and should they eventually marry and decide to begin a family, it would be so painful to the heart of this mother to see his family shunned or ridiculed. I hope the authors have not experienced it since the birth of their own daughter, little Gemma, whom I suppose is about 8 years old now and feeling very loved and secure.
Children are drawn to books about animals, there aren't too many animals cuter or funnier than penguins, and if you're a parent or grandparent who's searching for ways to begin opening your child's mind to the concept of the different types of families they'll encounter (or may be a part of!) along life's journey, as I myself have been, I think "And Tango Makes Three" is a nice place to start.
It's a lovely look and I hope you and your children can enjoy this book together.