And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole.
With all of the hub-bub about And Tango Makes Three, I thought I should actually take it home and read it. I shared it with my five-year-old son at bedtime with his nine-year-old brother listening avidly in the background. This is a sweet book about two male penguins hatching an egg. One of the most touching parts was when the two penguins are trying to hatch an egg-shaped rock. The story focuses on the love that the two penguins share and bring to their hatchling. It is a beautiful book.
Why are people attacking this book? It is about the true story of these real-life birds, so there’s not much to dispute there. Additionally, it is a great picture book on its own, whether the two penguins are male or are a male-female couple who failed to hatch an egg of their own. The illustrations are child-friendly, the language is accessible, and the story is universal. (Much of which could not be said about the earliest picture books to feature gay families!)
I do know that some families will have problems with this book. They can choose not to share it with their children. But public libraries and school libraries should certainly have it. Both to serve the children in gay families and to share with children in more traditional families that there are different sorts of families in our communities. Heck, Sesame Street has said this since I was a small child! Why can’t our picture books!