For kids who love animals by a kid who loves animals
One of my favorite books to read when I was younger was a book called And Tango Makes Three. In fact, I still have the book. What makes the book so good, besides the fact that it’s about cute waddling penguins and is a true story, is that it is about a specific pair of chinstrap penguins, Roy and Silo.
Roy and Silo are both males, which means, despite the fact they do everything together and do everything else that other couples do, they cannot produce a baby penguin. The zookeeper, Mr. Gramzay, realized that the two boy penguins were in love and snuck a penguin egg that needed caring for. Naturally, they did all the things they were supposed to do to raise a penguin chick. Soon, a baby came out of the egg and was promptly named Tango, because “it takes two to make a tango.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Yeah yeah, penguins are cute now what have we learned today?” (A lot actually, I’m hurt that you asked!)
Well, the book And Tango Makes Three has a lesson that most children’s books don’t touch, for some reason.
Think about most kid’s books today. They have lessons like treat others how you want to be treated (A.K.A the golden rule) or to be kind to everyone. You know, Aesop’s fables stuff. Lessons like the one in this book are strangely unexplored. This book has a particular soft spot in my heart, considering I know many people who are within the LGBT community, so this book was one of the first times I actually got a chance to learn about it, since you don’t really get to learn about LGBT people and things like that at the age this book it targeted to. If you don’t know what LGBT means, I’m not surprised, half the kids in my school think it’s a sandwich. (It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, by the way).
This book is cool because the author clearly wanted everyone, even adults, who read this book to learn, or at least start understanding the lessons this book teaches — and what better way to do that than with cute cuddly animals!
What everyone can take away from this book is that families come in all sorts of ways, which is a lesson a bunch of the kids at my school don’t seem to know. There are only a few other books that carry this message, but only one is about penguins. It would be better if more books like this were around, because I have noticed that the books you read when you are really young greatly impact your later years, because books can be some of the first influences we have in life.
Whenever I refer to this book while talking from now on, I’m going to call this book “learning about LGBT families with penguins.“
Update: The Mombian blog did a write-up on me and this blog post. Pretty cool! Thanks, Mombian! And, wow, the Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools program reprinted the review!
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