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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

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1,3202295,899 (4.43)31
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 |
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This book is based on the true story of two male penguins that fell in love at a zoo. Everything is fine until they notice the other couples are hatching eggs. The zoo keeper finds them an egg to hatch and they become like the other couples. This story is amazing. Telling this true story shows that love is limitless. ( )
  TiffanyA | Apr 26, 2016 |
"And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson is a sweet children's book that teaches children love comes in many different forms, by telling the story of two male penguins and their love life at the zoo. This book is child friendly being that it is about animals and shows how two male penguins can love each other in the same way as all of the other penguin couples. Being the the story deals with nature and animals that are naturally wild, shows that love and finding a mate is concept that is shared in many species. The book's story shows that homosexuality is natural, and that love is overall the most important thing. ( )
  olivia.sanchez | Apr 25, 2016 |
I liked this book for several reasons. First, I enjoyed the illustrations. The illustrations are extremely detailed but painted with soft colors which makes them appealing and pleasing to the eye. The illustrations on every other page lets the reader follow the story visually in addition to following the text. I also enjoy that the book makes the penguins believable as characters. The book describes how the two male penguins care for the egg and how they become a family - which is relatable to what humans do when they raise a child as well. I also like that the book does a good job of showing that even though Roy and Silo were "different" - their family was just as much of a family as those made of male and female penguins. I think this is a good book that touches on subjects of gender and sexuality all while making it accessible for extremely young readers. The discussion of this topic through animals is a great way to connect to and engage young readers. This allows readers to see that there is no "normal family" - whether it is in the animal kingdom or with humans. ( )
  ygurova | Apr 22, 2016 |
Families are made up of all different kinds of people and love is what makes them a family. Animals have families too. Roy and Silo are two male penguins. Instead of finding love in other female penguins, they found love with each other. Roy and Silo did not understand why they could not have a baby penguin too. They prepared and built a nest and even found sat on a rock that resembled an egg but still no baby penguin. Another egg needed to be cared for, so Roy and Silo nurtured the egg and then the baby penguin. Roy, Silo, and the baby penguin became a family, just like any other family, filled with love. This book is beautifully written and illustrated. It is a loving and tender story that demonstrates to young readers all the components of a family; love, choice, and loyalty. ( )
  JanaeCamardelle | Apr 21, 2016 |
This book starts out about penguins in the zoo and moves to details about how the penguins become couples and reproduce. Through the story, two male penguins form as a couple, and they don't understand why they can't also reproduce. Later on, the zookeeper gives them an egg that needs to be cared for.
The reason I find this book to be so effective in showing students the ways different families may be formed is because it's shown through animals. This solidifies the fact that this is a normal way of life, it makes them realize it really is more normal than people make it out to be. ( )
  cbuquet5 | Apr 21, 2016 |
This was definitely one of my favorite books I have read during this semester. The story begins talking about how girl penguins start showing interest in boy penguins and vice versa. Roy and Silo are both male penguins who are different from the rest. They show interest in each other and spend all their time together. When they see how male and female penguins spend a lot of time together and make nests to lay eggs in and care for, they want to do the same. Unable to do so, they find a rock that looks like an egg and cares for it just like their own egg. When their keeper sees what they're doing, she decided to put an egg that needs to be cared for in their nest. Silo and Roy care for it as their own and when the eggs hatches, their own baby Tango is now theirs. They are now a family and others at the zoo are able to see the three penguins live like a happy family, even if they aren't "normal." This is a great book explaining to young readers diversity and shows an example of acceptance. To others this penguin family is abnormal, but to then they are a happy family. ( )
  lcrosby | Apr 19, 2016 |
This is by far one of the best books that I have read this far in the semester. This is a great story of two male penguins that fall in love and want to create a family. Their keeper sees that they want to be like every other penguin couple in the exhibit and he finds an egg that needs to be taken care of. Rory and Silo raised this baby chick (Tango) as their own and grew up as a family. People now go to the exhibit to see this not quite "normal" family!
This is one of the best books that displays diversity and acceptance. I was shocked that this book is on the most challenged list! This is yet another example of a book that I just do not understand why anyone would ban! This is promoting acceptance and understanding for any person or in this case animals. I would read this book to my own children to help them understand and see what acceptance looks like. ( )
  mlanford3 | Apr 19, 2016 |
In my opinion this is a great book for three reasons. First, the language of this book is very simple and easy to follow. For example, it uses simple sentences while still being very descriptive and clear. The writing also flows well. The illustrations also enhance the story as they use simple/dull colors, yet are detailed. Finally, this book pushes readers to think about tough issues and broaden perspectives as it tells the story of two homosexual penguins who wanted to start a family. The main message is about acceptance for those in the gay community. In the story, the zookeeper notices that two of the male penguins are gay and that they are wanting to create a family. The zookeeper finds an abandoned egg and allows for the two males to care for it until it finally hatches and they become a happy family. ( )
  KatherineNelson | Apr 12, 2016 |
The ASPCA Henry Bergh award winner, published in 2005.
"Our nest was nice, but it was a little empty." This is the true story of a same gender penguin family who raises another pair's egg. ( )
  CALammert | Apr 6, 2016 |
This story is that of Roy and Silo, two chinstrap Penguins in the Central Park Zoo in New York. These two penguins are both boys and are both in love with each other and want nothing more then the have a family. Finally they are given that chance and they are allowed to be happy again.

This book is on the 2009 ALA's most challenged list. I can see why this one in due to the subject matter. It was over all a good book and one that I would definitely read to my nephew and my future children to show them that no matter what, everyone should have the chance to have a family. ( )
  welkeral | Mar 20, 2016 |
I enjoyed And Tango Makes Three after reading it. I like the book because of its illustrations, language, characters, and writing. The illustrations add to the warmth and mood of the story, with their flowing lines and soft colors. The language is clear and simple, but very engaging, for example, “They bowed to each other. And walked together. They sang to each other. And swam together.” The characters, two penguins named Roy and Silo, are based off of two real penguins of the same names. The writing is engaging and flowing. The story is chronological and carries the reader through the events. Additionally, I appreciated the concept/message of the book. And Tango Makes Three tells the true story of two male chinstrap penguins, Silo and Roy, who fall in love and eventually raise a baby penguin, Tango. They live in Central Park Zoo. The big idea of the story is to introduce the reader to the concept of same-sex relationships and families. I think this is a great book for children of same-sex parents and children who know families like Tango’s. It presents a controversial and interesting subject in a way that showcases and embraces diversity, love, and compassion.
  broger11 | Mar 19, 2016 |
I picked this book because it was a well talked about multicultural book. For this books I would have students draw a picture of his family and write about what makes their family special to them. ( )
  ksd011 | Mar 16, 2016 |
This book by Richardson and Parnell truly warmed my heart. I feel a strong connection towards it and admire the fact that it is based on a true story. There are many reasons why I think this book is amazing, but particularly it’s plot, illustrations, and the ability it has to push readers.

The plot is one that is uncommon to a children’s book, a tale of two male penguins who love one another and wish they could have a child of their own like all of the other couples at their zoo do. I find the plot to be spectacular because it is not too complex for a young reader and introduces this controversial topic in a way that is easy for them to comprehend. For example, the plot follows the two male birds spending time with one another and allows the reader to see how their friendship blossomed into one where all they care about is spending time with each other. I think this is a great way for a young reader to understand what is happening because the friendship portrayed can relate to their own lives and friendships.

The illustrations were beneficial to the plot because they helped the reader understand the feelings of the two birds. Each scene is painted beautifully and incorporates lively colors and beautiful lines. The illustrator was very inventive in choosing the correct color palette to help display mood. For example, when the reader learns about the struggles the two birds faced to try and have a little penguin of their own, the illustrations are all a faded blue with notes of gray and black lines, evoking sadness and grief. These particular illustrations provide a delightful juxtaposition when the pair finally have their own child and the pages are bright, colorful, and provide happiness.

This sense of happiness that is conjured up by the plot and accompanying illustrations lends itself to the success that this book has in pushing reader’s ideas and boundaries. Although the subject matter is one that is controversial, it is a one that is relevant to today’s and tomorrow’s society, teaching young readers the main idea of the book- to open their minds and hearts in a story that they can relate to. Books like these are so important and show how influential children’s literature can be. ( )
  GabrielleAmaro | Mar 7, 2016 |
I would use this book in a fourth grade classroom, most likely, because some of the themes might be controversial for younger grades. But, if I could use it for younger grades, I think it would be very helpful in teaching the occupation of a zookeeper, animal behaviors, and comparing and contrasting. ( )
  AmandaJH | Feb 25, 2016 |
I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I like this book because of the plot. The story is about two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo, Roy and Silo. They were observed performing behaviors that penguin couples would perform to show their attraction for one another. The couple decides they want to have a baby, and try to hatch a rock that resembles an egg. The zoo keepers realize what the couple is doing, and provides them with an egg that needs to be taken care of. Thus, baby Tango is born, and he is the first penguin at the zoo to have two dads. The plot is well organized, and not too complex for children of younger ages to understand the controversial topic. I also like the book because it pushes the readers to agree with the theme of acceptance of the gay community. This is exemplified when the zoo keeper sees the two penguins and states “They must be in love” without further judgement of their sexual orientation. Furthermore, the illustrations enhance the story by providing a realistic representation. Children who read this book would believe that the plot could happen because of the illustrations. However, I dislike this book because it cannot be taught in classrooms. The theme is still too controversial in today’s society to conform into an everyday lesson. The only time I would use this book in a classroom is if a child was being bullied for having same-sex parents. Overall, the book teaches a valuable lesson to be accepting of different communities.
  jwelle3 | Feb 14, 2016 |
I think the main reason I loved "And Tango Makes Three" is that it's based on a true story. "Tango" tells of two male penguins that fall in love and desperately want to have a baby. Since they biologically can't, they become very discouraged. The zookeeper sees their struggles and decides to give them an egg that's been abandoned by its biological parents. They hatch the baby, name it Tango, and raise it like any "normal" penguin family. The message of the book is one of love and acceptance of LGBT families. The main ingredient that makes a family is love, and the two penguins love each other, and their child, very much. That's all that matters, and the author seamlessly portrays them as being just like any other family, teaching that families like theirs are more alike than different. Going back to my first point, the fact that these penguins really existed and the same exact thing happened makes the message even more endearing. It's told from third person, which I believe helps the readers see the bigger picture. The illustrations are appropriate and well done. I could see this being used as a really wholesome read aloud for young children, teaching them a big lesson - one that's relevant and necessary in today's society - in such a fun, simple way. ( )
  scorco2 | Dec 6, 2015 |
The story of a family that is different from others. I enjoyed this book although may be questionable in a classroom considering parent opinions.
  KassRuiz | Dec 3, 2015 |
This tradebook goes against the "social norm." Roy and Silo fell in love with each other. They were two boys interested in each other, instead of being interested in the other girls. They tried having a baby penguin like the others, and realized they couldn't. The zoo keeper gave them an egg to care for, and had a baby of their own. I loved this book because they were just like the other families. The illustrations looked like they were done with water color, giving the pictures a lifelike feel. I would use this book in an older classroom. I think if I used it in a younger classroom, I would get a lot of parent complaints. Unless if I talked to the principle about using this book, it would be hard for younger children to read in schools. ( )
  j.swancutt | Dec 2, 2015 |
I really liked this book. It's great that this book depicts a family with to males. I think it's important to help all children feel secure in their families. ( )
  glguerra | Nov 30, 2015 |
I'm going to be completely and brutally honest- if you believe that this book should be banned then you are homophobic, closed minded, and ignorant. This book was heart warming and endearing. If anything I think this book will help children that have two fathers or two mothers not to feel so different from those with "traditional" families. I read this to my daughter and she loved it. Yes she's only one and probably just liked the pictures of the penguins but whatever. It was beautiful. Young children barely question homosexuality and thats how it should be. Teach them to love one another, regardless of gender. ( )
  kesteves | Nov 24, 2015 |
I really didn't know how to feel about this book. It's clearly about homosexuality. I don't know if I would use this story in my classroom as a teacher, because children come from so many different homes and backgrounds. Some people still get mad with homosexuality. I don't have a problem with it. The message in the book that love comes from a family. It's a non-traditional family of three penguins. The two men couldn't have their own penguin egg, so the owner helped them form a family by giving them an egg that was hatched by another penguin who had another egg already.I liked the message about love and family. I don't know if enjoyed the story itself. I can see why this book would be challenged or banned. People are funny about homosexuality. I have guy friends who are gay. I don't see them as anything but my friends; human beings; people. They know that, but they also know that I don't fully understand it. It's not my place to judge anybody. ( )
  kcaffrey | Nov 21, 2015 |
I can't believe I had never actually read this before. It's a lovely story of a happy loving family. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I can't believe I had never actually read this before. It's a lovely story of a happy loving family. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I can't believe I had never actually read this before. It's a lovely story of a happy loving family. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
I can't believe I had never actually read this before. It's a lovely story of a happy loving family. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
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