Challenged: And Tango...
sat 6 Oct 2007
Continuing on with Banned Books Week, of which this is the last official day! The number one challenged book of 2006 was And Tango Makes Three, a childrens book by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell and illustrated by Henry Cole.
The story is about two male penguins, who live with the flock(?) in the zoo in Central Park (NYC). Roy and Silo are nesting together, and after trying with an egg-shaped rock, are given a fertilized egg. They care for the egg and Tango (a girl) is hatched.
The book was challenged "for homosexuality, anti-family, and unsuited to age group".
I try to add a few challenged books to my list every year, and this one just looked too cute to pass up. The illustrations are wonderful. I love animals and art, so I'm glad to have this book.
I disagree with all of the reasons the books was challenged. The "unsuited to age group", especially. The reading level is ages 4 to 8. At that point the kids are going to school, and being exposed to other kids and their families. I don't know why people would try to "shelter" their child from loving families.
The book is not "anti-family". It is obviously "pro-family"!
And "homosexuality". You know what? They are penguins. and "sin" is a made up, human word which only applies to humans. Silly religious humans. ;)
In sidenote, the penguin thing is amusing... Unless you are someone who spends time with penguins, you can't tell the girls from the boys anyway. ha. The penguins know, but they didn't peck Roy and Silo out of their flock.
All that said, I do have a problem with the book. Zoos. It is an outrage that we send innocents to prison.
But I would still recommend reading the book to a child. And then talking about all the different issues the book raises: love knows no bounds and zoos are evil.
I read the book to the only six year old that I know. Granted, in guinea pig years, she's actually about 90. And she would have liked to have a nibble of the book in order to enhance her reading experience.
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