From the Shelf: And Tango Makes Three 

This book is a family favorite in our home; I always knew I would feature it in our From the Shelf series.  Being summer time I thought a book about penguins would be out of place, but after the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando- I think it is the perfect time.

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell is based on the true story of a penguin family at the Central Park zoo.

Roy and Silo are just like every other penguin couple at the zoo.  They built a nest together, they swam together, ate together, and napped together.  They are also both male penguins.  They yearned for a baby together, grabbing egg shaped rocks and trying in vain to hatch them- all they wanted was a family.  All they wanted was the freedom to be like everyone else.

Eventually a zoo keeper gave them a spare egg, and so their family is cemented with little Tango.

This story is pretty special in so many ways.  It gets the point across that it isn’t a certain ratio of genders that make a family: it’s love.  Roy, Silo, & Tango are just like all the other families in the zoo and the other penguins recognize them as such.

Tango is a story about equality, empathy, and love.  It displays how beautiful life can be when we are all allowed to live our own individual truth in peace.

After the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub- the largest casualty mass shooting in United States history- I was underwhelmed by the response of those around me.  When France was hit, friends and family changed profile pictures to French overlays.  Everyone cared, everyone mourned, everyone was French.  And so it should be.  We were- and rightfully should have been- horrified about France and Brussels.  But now 49 Americans were murdered on US soil (with many more injured) and hardly a peep.

The Texas’ Lt. Governor even posted an outrageous verse about “reaping what you sow”.  Why are we blaming these victims for their deaths?  Does their sexual preference in partner really harm us?  Do we really want to side with Isis, shrugging off this autrocity as “deserved”.

No.  I won’t accept that and cannot accept that.  This is why I make sure we have books and material available to our children- and in my classroom when I taught preschool- on people of different religions, races, and those in the LGBTQ community.  My son knows that these people are just like everyone else.  These murders are just as outrageous as any.


Representation matters, friends.  Represent minority groups on your shelves and ensure the world gets a little less hateful generation by generation.


Previous Posts in our From the Shelf series:


One thought on “From the Shelf: And Tango Makes Three 

  1. Pingback: From the Shelf: The Story of Ferdinand  | paintingclouds

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