Tuesday, February 23, 2010
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell and illustrated by Henry Cole
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell and illustrated by Henry Cole was not what I expected. I had heard it was extremely controversial, and I think it was a little exaggerated. Although I had just read King and King, which was also about a gay relationship, this book seemed so different to me. It was much more kid friendly in my opinion. I found myself wanting the penguins to be happy and realized they were just trying to have what the other penguins had. They were best friends, and they loved each other. After reading this book I thought a little more on the subject of gay relationships. The penguins, Silo and Roy, were not treated differently by other penguins. They raised their child, Tango, just like the other parents. The only difference was their sexual orientation. Being an adult, this got me thinking that children could really benefit from reading this book. By using animals to show this relationship in a new way, it made me much more open to this book than I would have been if the book was with humans I think. I think children would feel the same way. It covers the issue of gay relationships in a way that children can understand in a new way. I think that is great. I would be much, much more comfortable reading this book to students. I'm not sure if it is because it was animals, the way the authors phrased the book, or the fact that this was a true story. I loved how the authors said that it was true in the back! Anyway, the authors did an excellent job of leading up to telling readers Silo and Roy were in love. It showed how similar they were to other penguins and explored their relationship. I think this is key. It made me see how similar they truly were to others, and there was only one small difference.
The illustrations in this book were light, bright, and done well. The simpleness of the illustrations was what I liked the best. They were descriptive, but not distracting. Even the penguins had facial expressions that I liked.
It is up to the distric whether gay and lesbian relationships should be discussed in the classroom. However, if I was to teach this subject, I would really considering using this controversial book.