Banned Books Week: We Need More Tangos

Simon & Schuster

One of the most fun books to talk about during Banned Books Week is the lovable, adorable And Tango Makes Three. Even extreme penguin cuteness cannot warm the frozen shell around a book banner’s heart. Why? Because the penguins are (gasp!) gay.

If you don’t know And Tango Makes Three, it’s the true story of Silo and Roy, two male chinstrap penguins at the Central Park Zoo. A zookeeper noticed that these two penguins were exhibiting couple-like behavior, down to building a nest like the other penguin couples. When an extra egg needed to be cared for, the zookeeper gave it to Silo and Roy to hatch. And along came Tango.

Now it sits, since it’s debut in 2005, on countless banned book lists. In our day and age a book that promotes tolerance is equivalent to pushing a radical left-wing homosexual agenda. Funny how people have even come to debate the gayness of the penguins, right down to the fact that Silo seems to be bisexual, not gay.

We may be a one mommy, one daddy, two kid family, but we live in New York City and we know all kinds of families: two daddies, two mommies, interracial couples, couples with a big age difference between them, divorced parents, single parents… you name it. I love having books like And Tango Makes Three to drive home the point that other families may be different than ours, but it’s no big whoop. With all the notoreity, why aren’t there more books like Tango? I want as many books as I can get my hands on that are inclusive of the diverse ways in which loving people form families.

If you have books to recommend that feature different kinds of families, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.