Title: And Tango Makes Three
Author(s): Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Illustrator: Henry Cole
Grade Level: K-2
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Summary: Based on a true story, And Tango Makes Three focuses on the different animal families that live in the Central Park Zoo in New York City. Two penguins in the penguin house were a little bit different than the other penguins. Roy and Silo were both boys, but they did everything together. As a couple, they want a family like the other penguins at the zoo. After an unsuccessful attempt to hatch a rock, Roy and Silo are given an abandoned egg to care for. After their diligent efforts, their egg hatches and baby Tango joins their family.
Element 3: Exploring Issues of Social Injustice: And Tango Makes Three celebrates the diversity of families. Because Roy and Silo are both male penguins,the book gives students a chance to explore same-sex relationships. The book sends out the message that it is absolutely okay to be different, accepting the fact that everybody has his or her own way of defining a family.
Activity: A good follow up activity after reading this book would be a classroom discussion. I would openly ask the classroom to elaborate on their own perspective of family. As a project, I'd have them go home and illustrate their family. With the help of their parents/guardians, they could put together a collage including the different things that define/sums up his or her family. Finally, the students could present their project, and then I'd display their finished work around the classroom.