Banned Books #7 And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

banned books

Banner made by the lovely Luna’s Little Library

Welcome to our first Banned Books feature of 2015! Unfortunately, the lovely Luna won’t be joining us to explore Banned Books this year, but hopefully you’ll see something from us all at some point!

Here are the books that we’ll be exploring:

January: And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

February: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

March: Crank– Ellen Hopkins

April: The Chocolate War – Robert Cormier

May: What My Mother Doesn’t Know– Sonya Sones

June: Bridge To Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

July: Detour for Emmy– Marilyn Reynolds

August: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Mildred D. Taylor

September: Of Mice and Men- John Steinbeck

October: Forever – Judy Blume

November: The Bluest Eye– Toni Morrison

December: Olive’s Ocean – Kevin Henkes

We hope you’re excited about the banned books coming up this year! We certainly are.




In the zoo there are all kinds of animal families. But Tango’s family is not like any of the others. This illustrated children’s book fictionalizes the true story of two male penguins who became partners and raised a penguin chick in the Central Park Zoo.

First published: 2005

In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2012 (source)
Chosen by: Chrissi
Reason: homosexuality and unsuited to age group

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: Absolutely not. This was such a sweet story about two penguins that fall in love and happen to be male. It’s a picture book with some beautiful illustrations that I think children will love, especially children who are fond of animals. It was published fairly recently (2005) and in this modern world that we live in, I can’t understand why it could be challenged. Nothing about it is unsuitable or inappropriate.

CHRISSI: No!!! I am really angry that this book has been challenged. I think it is an adorable look at the different family structures that we can have. It is such an important book. I can totally see myself using it in a classroom or with a child that does come from an ‘unconventional’ family.

How about now?

BETH: Definitely not. It could be such an important book for use in schools to teach children that there are more relationships in the world than Mummy/Daddy and that this is normal. Maybe some of the hatred towards homosexuality comes from the fact that these people were taught that it was wrong. If we ban/challenge these books aren’t we automatically sending a message to children that homosexuality is a bad thing?

CHRISSI: It’s educative and supportive. No. Just no.

What did you think of this book?

BETH: I absolutely loved it. I think the fact that it’s based on a true story makes it even cuter. I’m really glad that these penguins were given a chance to sit on an egg and look after their own baby (Tango). Also, I really want to go to New York and see their little family for myself now!

CHRISSI: I was so impressed. It’s so cute and simple and explores homosexuality in such a gentle way for younger children.

Would you recommend it?

BETH: But of course!

CHRISSI: Without a doubt!

To see the previous Banned Books we’ve discussed (with Luna) check out this link!

Next month, we read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou!


6 thoughts on “Banned Books #7 And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

  1. Oh I love this feature! I can’t wait to read some of your discussions about the other banned books throughout the year. I don’t understand why any book gets banned, but this one especially. It seems like such a cute book.

  2. Really great feature! Banning books is the start of a dictatorship in my opinion. It is really important that we acknowledge that. And the book from this month sounds so sweet, I really want to read it now.

  3. I agree with you that this book should have never been banned. You rarely get children’s books that actually shows homosexual parents and I think in this day and age, we need more children’s books that addresses homosexuality, especially if the child in question has homosexual parents and wants a children’s book that relates to them personally.

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