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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
1,044None8,045 (4.44)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 156 (next | show all)
“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 |
This book is about two male penguins who love each other and eventually get a baby penguin of their own. This main message of this story is about family. I really loved this story! One reason I really liked it was because even though it is a true story, it was written as a narrative. I thought that style was interesting and made the book more appealing. Another thing I really liked about the book was the author’s note that gave some of the information about the real penguins. I like when authors give factual information so that readers can connect the story to the real world. A third thing I really loved about this book was the story itself. Even though it was about penguins, to me it showed that homosexual relationships are natural and that they are not big deal and do not make a group of people any less of a family. ( )
  MelissaPatek | Apr 12, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book for a few reasons. I really enjoyed the plot of the book. I like how it talks about the penguins and how they like to spend time together, not making it seem like they are even in love, just more along the lines of being friends. It then talks about how the penguins obviously have feelings for each other, even though they are both males. Then the problem comes about when they realize they cannot have a baby because they are both male. However, I enjoyed how it worked out in the end and how they got a donation from another penguin so they could have a baby of their own. I thought it was a good plot to the story. I also liked how on certain pages, there were several illustrations. For example, the eggshell hatching. It showed how the egg changed overtime and how the egg began whole then began to crack and how the penguin came out at the end. I think the overall message is to show children that love does not have to be a female and a male. There may be some obstacles, but if its true love, nothing can break it apart. ( )
  jobend2 | Apr 8, 2014 |
“And Tango Makes Three” was a touching book that exposes children to gay parents without using actual people. What I liked most about this book was the main message, that although someone may be gay it does not make them any different. This message was expressed when the author describe how Roy and Silo did everything the same as the other straight penguins. Also in the book, the illustrations to show how Tango's egg cracked was pretty neat. It showed the reader over time that Tango was about to come into the world. ( )
  CatherineWillett | Apr 8, 2014 |
This book is about two male penguins who spend every waking moment together. When they see that they are the only penguin couple that do not have a baby penguin they become upset and the zookeeper gives them an extra egg to take care of. I thought this book was OK. I am a bit indifferent about it. ( )
  BaileyR | Apr 7, 2014 |
I really enjoyed the story “And Tango Makes Three” because it was based off of a true story about three penguins at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. Because the occurrences actually happened, I believe that the book takes on a different meaning. I also enjoyed this story because the illustrations were very cute and appropriate for the story. The penguins were drawn with smiles in most of the pictures, while their faces frowned in the picture that they were upset. For example, the page where their rock “egg” didn’t hatch, both penguins looked into the nest with frowns. I believe these elements added to the story, which is the definition of a true picture book. The main idea of this book was to tell the true story of two male penguins that chose each other as mates. ( )
  kburdg1 | Apr 7, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this story. I liked the illustrations of the egg hatching in the story. The way the illustrator portrayed twelve images of the egg hatching all on the same page shows the passing of time. I also enjoyed the plot of the book because it showed how a child can have two fathers instead of a father and a mother but still be okay. The big idea of this story is that it is okay to be different because that is what makes one different, ( )
  lpicke2 | Apr 6, 2014 |
“And Tango Makes Three” follows the true story of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo who fall in love and are given the chance to raise a baby penguin of their own, whom the zookeeper names Tango. The message of this story was that all types of love and families are the same. The author made this message clear in many ways. The first way he supported this claim was by comparing the male penguin couple, Roy and Silo, to the female, male couples. For example the author says that Roy and Silo “did everything together. They bowed to each other....They sang to each other. And swam together.“ The author also states that Roy and Silo tried to copy the other penguins that were laying and taking care of their eggs by caring for a rock. These comparisons seem very subtle when reading the book but the author is showing the reader that Roy and Silo are capable and do all of the same things as the other couples. By making these comparisons the author shows that their relationship and love is just the same as all the other penguin couples. Another way that the author supported this message was showing that Roy and Silo were fully capable of taking care of an egg and baby. Although they were not able to have their own eggs, they were given an egg that needed caring for from the zoo keeper. Roy and Silo were able to take care of their egg and baby just as well as all of the other couples and the author states that their baby, Tango, is thriving today and living the same life as all the other penguins. By doing this the author shows that Roy, Silo, and Tango are living a completely normal life and their family is the same as all the other families in the zoo. I enjoyed this story mainly because of the message that it got across and knowing that it was a true story. I also enjoyed this story for the illustrations. They were very cute and fun. Also, some pages showed multiple picture which helped in showing time lapses or processes. I also enjoyed how some sentences were separated on the page or across the pages to add suspense, emphasis, or time lapse. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and loved how the author got his message across. ( )
  CarolinePfrang | Apr 2, 2014 |
I absolutely loved reading And Tango Makes Three. I loved this book because of the illustrations and the characterization of Roy and Silo. The illustrations were unique because there were multiple separate illustrations on each page. For example, there was one page showing many animals in various pictures. Some of the animals included a red panda, toucans, and monkeys. This variety in the illustrations really adds excitement and color to the storyline. I also loved the characterization of Roy and Silo. I thought they were great because they displayed such an innocence and love for one another. They both did not understand why they were different from the other penguins. The two male penguins just knew they loved each other and wanted a family. I especially love when all the penguins are warming their eggs while Roy and Silo watch in confusion. The main message I took from this story is that everyone deserves a family and everyone deserves to be loved regardless of any differences they may have from others. ( )
  NikkiDahlen | Apr 1, 2014 |
I thought that this was a really great book. I have never really read a book quite like it, in terms of it being a true story about animals yet it was a picture book. Two male chinstrap penguins in the Central Park Zoo, named Rio and Salvo, became very close and did everything the other penguin couples were doing. They could do everything the others did, except one thing—conceive penguins. Their zookeeper gave them an egg that needed to be cared for, eventually named Tango. Tango became the first penguin to ever have two fathers! Although Rio and Salvo were unsure at first how to raise their young penguin, they quickly adapted and their love shines through this book. Although there has been much controversy surrounding this book, I thought it was a cute book that does a very nice job depicting a different type of family. The text was very forthright and did not change the words used to be culturally sensitive, rather it said exactly what happened. For example, “Tango was the very first penguin in the zoo to have two daddies.” I think it is such a great book that introduces different types of families while encouraging different perspectives, too. I thought the illustration style fit the written text in a nice way. At some points in the book there were pages that had multiple illustrations, demonstrating a sequence of events explained in the text. The big idea of this story is love, families, and same-sex parenting. I do not think this book heavily stresses homosexuality but it shows that if two people love one another first, they can transfer their love to their child. This book is a parable showcasing true events and it’s hard to realize people do not accept it. It is demonstrating something that happened in the animal kingdom and there is nowhere in the text where it explicitly relates to the human implications. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. ( )
  sarabeck | Apr 1, 2014 |
I have read this book in the past and I have heard mixed opinions on it being read in the classroom. Regardless I love this book and the story behind it. The fact that it is a true story and takes place in NYC makes it even more likable to me. I have actually been to that zoo and seen the penguins, but was not aware at the time of the story behind them. I think the story is cute and just depicts a different type of family too children. The story is straight forward “Tango was the very first penguin in the zoo to have two daddies.” I also liked how the illustrations went along directly with the text and sometimes a page would have more than one illustration on it. The big idea of this story is parenting and homosexuality. ( )
  mderob1 | Mar 27, 2014 |
In the zoo there are all kinds of families, but Tango is a little different than all the other families.
  alishablaire | Mar 18, 2014 |
I have wanted to read this book after hearing about it being banned and challenged in various schools. I'm a little biased, but I really loved this book. I thought it was a sweet story about penguins that could also serve as a tool for discussing homosexuality with children. I also loved that the book didn't treat the penguins' "homosexual" behavior as an issue (besides that they were sad because they didn't have an egg at first). I understand why it was banned, but definitely think it's a valuable item for all school libraries. ( )
  LoisHaight | Mar 17, 2014 |
Based on true events at a zoo, this is the story of two penguins who "adopt" a baby penguin named Tango. Although initially they do not quite know what to do with the young penguin, the new adoptive parents quickly learn to love and care for their new ward. Illustrator Henry Cole's watercolor scenes set a bright and friendly tone to the story.

Although some people may not approve of the LGBT tone of the book (i.e. two male penguins implies homosexuality), I would assure parents and caregivers that this book is simply about what makes a family. It is a very positive message about love and care of children -- particularly those who do not have biological caregivers for one reason or another. By using a much loved animal species as the main characters, the author presents a gentle story about family and belonging. This title could be included in a book list or display about adoption and families or, more generally, zoo life. ( )
  aeisen9 | Mar 17, 2014 |
A fictional account of two male Central Park Zoo penguins who become partners as a way to raise a penguin chick. I love this story and think it's very heartfelt and shows alternative family dynamics, which coincidentally is why it was challenged so often. I think this is an important book to have in a collection showing what families look like.
  Tvickrey | Mar 15, 2014 |
Family
  Gfarrell | Feb 28, 2014 |
I read this because I kept seeing in a the banned book list, so I needed to find out why! it is a wonderful childrens book based on a true story. It is wonderful to introduce the topic of family units, that come in all variations, to children at a young age. This book is adorable! ( )
  KaylaWatson | Dec 9, 2013 |
Story about two male penguins in the zoo who are given a baby penguin to raise
  shaemakay | Dec 8, 2013 |
This is a great non fiction story that reinforces the idea of care being the center of family, not genetics. It's a fascinating true story of two male penguins who adopted a baby penguin for their own. I think it is important to introduce children to stories of adoption and other nontraditional families, as more and more children experience this in their own lives. It's a very sweet book with realistic, appealing illustrations. ( )
  BrittaSorensen | Dec 6, 2013 |
I love this book! And Tango Makes Three is a story about two penguins who are homosexual , and they go through the depression of not being able to have a child. ( )
  lnfranklin | Nov 26, 2013 |
This is a very cute children's book that approaches a very difficult subject matter. I loved how the story was also true. My favorite part of the story is that the author never says whether or not the penguins are actually gay. The author's message is more about accepting different relationships and that even though they are two boy penguins, they can still love and raise a baby. My favorite part was also when the zookeeper decides to give them Tango because he sees that they are good couple and they will take care of her. This book will definitely be used in my future classroom. ( )
  emills4 | Nov 11, 2013 |
Spanish language edition of Parnell's Tango Makes Three about two gay-male penguins and their journey to penguin-parenthood.
  rschwed | Oct 10, 2013 |
Randall Tarpey-Schwed comments: And Tango Makes Three has become a classic of its genre. Sweet, age appropriate true story from the Central Park Zoo about a male couple who adopt an abandoned egg, sit on it till it hatches, and make the baby penguin their own. This book is one of the most challenged books.
  rschwed | Oct 6, 2013 |
Putting aside the firestorm of controversy that accompanied poor Tango this book is…okay. I wanted to really like this book, but have serious reservations. The biggest issue with Tango is its inexactitude. It wavers somewhere between fiction and nonfiction, and does not make clear what is what. There is clear anthropomorphizing going on in the text and illustrations, yet at the same time, the story of the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that hatched a chick together is true (and somewhat more information is given in a endnote at the back of the book.) The illustrations are sweet, and making a penguin anything other than cute is difficult, but overall they don’t stand out. The whole book was a little too sweet for me, and the emphasis on different kinds of families a little much. Which is a shame, because the story of Roy and Silo and Tango really is a great one, and deserves a really great picture book to go with it. We’ve moved past the point where we can applaud LGBTQ kid’s books for simply existing; it’s time to ask for books that are as well written and well-illustrated as well. However, if you do want to build your LGBTQ collection, this is (despite what critics say) a relatively harmless book to do it with. ( )
  kahansen | Oct 1, 2013 |
The best part about this book is that the story is true, it is stated in the author's note. There was a pair of male penguins who became a couple and raised a baby penguin named Tango. Another penguin couple on the site had laid two eggs but were only able to bring up one so the keeper gave this egg to the male couple. It's a touching story about love and family and how it really has no bounds.
  Vania_Coates | Jun 9, 2013 |
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