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And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
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And Tango Makes Three (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1431797,150 (4.42)27
nnicolic's review
This story is about two male penguins in a zoo who sit on a rock thinking it is an egg to hatch. The zookeeper switches out the rock for an egg and the penguins take turns sitting on the egg and it hatches. The three penguins live together as a family in the zoo. This book does present homosexuality in a soft, appropriate way, but because it is such a controversial topic, I wouldn't read it to my future class. ( )
  nnicolic | Apr 26, 2012 |
All member reviews
Showing 1-25 of 179 (next | show all)
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell tells of two male penguins who want a baby penguin. A zookeeper gives them one and they nurture it until it is born. I would read this book to fourth and fifth graders because I feel that they would understand what is happening in the story. This book could open up a discussion about homosexuality, which is becoming very common, and understand why a person may have two mothers or fathers. ( )
  Nijania | Dec 5, 2014 |
This book is about two penguins who were male and did everything together. They even tried to hatch an egg like their friends who were couples. One day the zoo keeper put a real egg under them so it would hatch. That is when Tango was born. This book may be questioned and challenged in libraries. I would read it to my class in a heart beat. Gay couples adopt children all of the time now. This is a true story and i very informative. ( )
  marabie | Dec 3, 2014 |
This is a children's book male penguins that want to take care of a family like the penguins in the zoo. It took a serious subject and made it into something that children could understand and identify with. It might be a little controversial but it is a real subject for this day in age. I feel it is a easy way to share the subject with children. ( )
  jforrest21 | Dec 1, 2014 |
At a zoo in New York there are two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who spend time with each other rather than any female penguins. Roy and Silo notice that all the penguin couples around them build nests and have eggs which later hatch into baby penguins. Roy and SIlo try to nest with a rock, in the hopes that it will also hatch into a baby penguin. Nothing happened. but the zookeeper had the idea to give Roy and Silo the egg that was abandoned. Roy and Silo care for the egg and are delighted when it hatches into a little baby penguin.
It was great to learn that this was based on a true story, I loved the names of the penguins especially. I think this is a great book to read to children, it helps children learn to accept gay parents. ( )
  SMLawrence | Nov 30, 2014 |
I thought this book was very cute. It is about two male penguins who fall in love. The penguins were caught looking and trying to nest a baby. So, a zoo keeper placed an egg in the nest. The penguins finally had a little family! This is a great book to read to children to help them understand other children with two mommies or two daddies. ( )
  kfisher524 | Nov 29, 2014 |
I thought this book was great in how it approaches the subject of gay parents. Also, the fact that it is a true story makes it even better. It is touching and a little witty in a few places. I think it would be a good way to introduce all children to this controversial subject in a not so controversial way. The story is just so cute. ( )
  rpazmino-calligan | Nov 26, 2014 |
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is the story about two male penguins who fall in love and want to have a baby of their own. Obviously, that can't happen so a zoo keeper helps them to adopt an egg. The story goes on to describe their behavior and the birth of their baby. I think it's a great book to share with children to introduce homosexuality and unconventional families to them. This book is a banned book and I don't think it would be easy to find it in a library or a bookstore. ( )
  cvarela | Nov 26, 2014 |
This is a very cute book about two homosexual penguins who want a baby of their own. I would not personally go and read this book to my child. However, if he/she came home and was talking negative about another person being homosexual, I would not hesitate to grab this book to teach him/her that it is okay to be gay. ( )
  hschmill22 | Nov 25, 2014 |
I loved this book as well. I don't see why we shouldn't read these types of books to our kids. It can help them with an acceptance of equality and that a family can come in different forms. What I love about it, is that this story is true. Although it may cause trouble with some parents because of the concept of two males loving each other, I would still want to show children that there will be families out there that are like these three penguins and that we shouldn't look at them as if they are an odd family. I think children are more understanding than adults. ( )
  Y-NhiVu | Nov 19, 2014 |
Read in the Curious George store, Harvard Square. This always pops up on Banned Books Week lists so I knew the title but hadn't read it. Now I have, and it's lovely! It takes two to make a Tango... ( )
  JennyArch | Nov 12, 2014 |
The story is about a penguin couple. Both penguins are males. The penguins want a baby and the zoo keeper makes sure they get one. I thought this story was in away educational. This story to me talks about acceptance and also gives kids insight. Not sure if I would share it with a classroom, if I did then maybe an older class. ( )
  TaylorRankins | Oct 30, 2014 |
Read on September 19, 2014

After years of seeing this one on the frequently challenged lists, I finally checked it out for Banned Books Week. The story of Roy and Silo is so sweet and it makes me want to go visit their little family at the zoo (upon Googling I've learned the two have consciously uncoupled).

Despite Roy and Silo's split, it's a great story to open up a conversation with kids about families that might be different from their own.

New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/24/nyregion/24penguins.html?_r=0 ( )
  melissarochelle | Oct 27, 2014 |
Summary: This book is about two male penguins named Roy and Silo who live at the zoo in New York. The zookeeper noticed that Roy and Silo spent a lot of time together rather than with female penguins. The two boy penguins even made a nest together and put a rock in it, in the hopes that it would turn into a baby. They both took turns sitting over it and protecting it, but nothing happened. Then one day, the zookeeper got an idea and took an egg that need to be cared for and placed it in Roy and Silo's nest. Again, they went through the same process of sitting and protecting it, until it eventually hatched and out came Tango. Roy and Silo took care of Tango for the rest of her life.

Review: I thought this book was very cute. It is a great way to show how families may not always be how one may believe they should be. For example, Roy and Silo are two male penguins who had a baby. Some children may be unfamiliar with this concept and this is a great way to introduce them. Therefore, I think the main message in this book is acceptance. The book pointed out that after Tango was born, many people would come in the zoo and watch the two fathers with her baby and they would clap and cheer for them. This shows that the people at the zoo were very accepting of the fact that it was two male penguins rather than a conventional family that would have a mom and a dad. Overall, I think this book is a great way to introduce this concept to younger children and to show them that it is important to accept others no matter what. ( )
1 vote jbaile14 | Oct 25, 2014 |
This is a banned book. aka very controversial
The penguins are homosexual and adopt and care for a baby penguin. The two male penguins are based off a true story that happened in a zoo.
Different but not bad family dynamics. Love is the foundation for any family unit.
  mollybeaver | Oct 6, 2014 |


I chose this for Banned Books Week but I couldn't wait any longer to read it.

Disappointingly my library copy came with a warning slapped on the cover. What's to be frightened about with 'same sex families'?



Based on a real life story, two male penguins pair up and want what comes naturally to all other animals. They want to to procreate.

And every morning Roy and Silo woke up together. But one day Roy and Silo saw that the other couples could do something they could not.

Aww.

Roy and Silo had no egg to sit on and keep warm.
They had no baby chick to feed and cuddle and love.
Their nest was nice, but it was a little empty.




Is someone chopping onions? My eyes are leaking.

They found a rock and tried to hatch it, mimicking the other penguins by taking turns to sit on it to keep it warm. And of course, nothing happened. Until a zookeeper gave them a real egg.

Then finally they were 'just like all the other penguin families' as loving and nurturing parents to their offspring.

And Tango Makes Three is a beautiful story and a lovely way to introduce children to homosexuality in a normalized fashion.

Here's the human equivalent. Another family like any other, yet the first photo sparked a deluge of racist and homophobic comments.



You can read more about them in their book Picture Perfect?.

I think the most unconventional family I've come across was in a documentary about a couple who were gay female-to-male transgendered. One of them had undergone gender reassignment surgery and the other used his uterus to have babies via a sperm donor. They had three or four children and were loving parents.

Love is love, and family is what you make it. If any child in a neglectful or abusive situation were to be offered a loving home with a gay couple, I'm sure they'd jump at the chance. As long as the children are loved, who really cares if their parents are gay, straight or transgendered? ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
Richardson, J., & Parnell, P. (2005). And Tango makes three. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

This is a true story about Roy and Silo, two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo. Together, this pair raised a baby of their own after a kind zookeeper noticed that they had tried to hatch a rock that resembled an egg. Instead, the zookeeper decided to give them an unwanted egg from another nest so that they could complete their family. That unwanted egg was Tango!
  KaelaDelgado | Aug 1, 2014 |
Interesting true story about two male penguins who love each other and build a nest (as well as a life) together. ( )
  skm88 | Jun 8, 2014 |
This book is based off of the true story of penguins in the New York Zoo. This two male penguins fall in love, and after there is some reason a mother can't raise their baby, Tango (as an egg) is given to these two male penguins to raise. They do, eventually Tango hatches, and now there are three of them in their New York, non-traditional penguin family. ( )
  alarso2 | May 19, 2014 |
It is a story that will capture the hearts of all ages. I love the sotry and the fact that it based on a true story is incredible. And Tango Makes Three will be enjoyed by everyone and the class will be rooting for the penguins to raise their baby!
  Talwold | May 17, 2014 |
True story of 2 male penguins who mate up at a zoo and care for another couples egg. They carry on as a family just as the other pairs do. This is a great book to discuss types of family stuctures as well as adoption or just caring for another. ( )
  Trinityc | May 15, 2014 |
This picture book was truly an enjoyable read. Based off a true story of an unconventional penguin couple, the illustrations and text present a heart warming story that to have a family all you need is love. ( )
  arodri13 | May 7, 2014 |
This book could be classified as an informational book because it does have true facts in it. This has become one of my favorite children’s books I have read so far. I am slightly biased because penguins are my favorite animals, which made this all the better for me. First, I like how at the end the author tells reveals how it is a true story of two penguins in love at the Central Park Zoo. Another thing I really liked about this book is how it tackles a very controversial topic of same sex relationships lightly. The authors do this by making the reader feel comfortable with the fact that both penguins are male. The story holds true that true love comes in all forms and families can come in all forms as well. Shows that although both penguins were male they still showed Tango more love than his true parents did. The main idea was of this book was to look beyond traditional views of what a family should be, that love and care can exist anywhere. ( )
  kwiggi3 | May 6, 2014 |
And Tango Makes Three is about two male penguins at the San Fransisco Zoo. Roy and Silo are two male penguins that do everything together and one day when they want to have a baby just like all the other penguins, they are given an egg. They take turns taking care of the egg until one day they are no longer two, they are three.

I loved this And Tango Makes Three. I would want to share it with my students, if it doesn't become a problem. I would recommend this book to grades prek-3. ( )
  aloupe | Apr 24, 2014 |
This book is about two male penguins who chose to be in relationship with one another. They act like all the male and female couples except they are not able to care for an egg. They are gifted an abandoned egg to care for. They do a great job keeping it safe and warm. When it hatches they raise the little girl penguin and are a happy little family. ( )
  azlanshae | Apr 22, 2014 |
“And Tango Makes Three” was a phenomenal book about family, and how no matter what type of family it is it can be a great one. I love that this story is based off of a true story. I this book allowed me to be pulled in for throughout the book it is never said that both penguins are male it is more implied. So this pulled me in to the book even more for at first I wasn’t sure as to why the two penguins couldn’t have their own egg. I also enjoyed the illustrations because they were very realistic with beautiful color. This pulled me into the book because it caused me to feel like I was at the zoo watching all of this happen. Not just reading a book. I also enjoyed that the illustrations weren’t full of bright vibrant colors because if it was I feel that it would have caused a distraction and pulled me away from the text. ( )
  KiTiraShorter | Apr 16, 2014 |
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