Synopses & Reviews
And Tango Makes Three
is the bestselling, heartwarming true story of two penguins who create a nontraditional family.
At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo get the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.
Selected as an ALA Notable Childrens Book Nominee and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist, “this joyful story about the meaning of family is a must for any library” (School Library Journal, starred review).
"Tango has two daddies in this heartwarming tale, inspired by actual events in New York's Central Park Zoo. Two male penguins, Roy and Silo, 'did everything together. They bowed to each other....They sang to each other. And swam together. Wherever Roy went, Silo went too....Their keeper...thought to himself, 'They must be in love.' Cole's (The Sissy Duckling) endearing watercolors follow the twosome as they frolic affectionately in several vignettes and then try tirelessly to start a family first they build a stone nest and then they comically attempt to hatch a rock. Their expressive eyes capture a range of moods within uncluttered, pastel-hued scenes dominated by pale blue. When the keeper discovers an egg that needs tending, he gives it to Roy and Silo, who hatch and raise the female. The keeper says, 'We'll call her Tango,... because it takes two to make a Tango.' Older readers will most appreciate the humor inherent in her name plus the larger theme of tolerance at work in this touching tale. Richardson and Parnell, making their children's book debut, ease into the theme from the start, mentioning that 'families of all kinds' visit the zoo. This tender story can also serve as a gentle jumping-off point for discussions about same-sex partnerships in human society. Ages 4-8. (June) " Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"An author's note provides more information about Roy, Silo, Tango, and other chinstrap penguins. This joyful story about the meaning of family is a must." School Library Journal
"Cole's pictures complement the perfectly cadenced text...Those who share this with children will find themselves returning to it again and again...for the two irresistible birds at its center and for the celebration of patient, loving fathers who 'knew just what to do.'" Booklist, starred review
"[A] heartwarming tale. Older readers will most appreciate the...larger theme of tolerance at work in this touching tale." Publishers Weekly, starred review
"This joyful story about the meaning of family is a must for any library." School Library Journal, starred review
"In this true, straightforwardly (so to speak) delivered tale, two male chinstrap penguins at New York City's Central Park Zoo bond, build a nest and--thanks to a helping hand from an observant zookeeper--hatch and raise a penguin chick...Readers may find its theme of acecptance even more convincing for being delivered in such a matter of fact, non-preachy way." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Tango Makes Three rises above the message it carries and becomes the rarest of birds, a 'message book' that's also a really good story." NYTBR
About the Author
Justin Richardson, M.D., is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia and Cornell and co-author of Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask).
His advice to parents has been featured in the New York Times
and on Today, 20/20,
and NPR's Morning Edition.
Peter Parnell is a playwright whose most recent play, QED, was produced on Broadway. He was a co-producer of the television show The West Wing. He lives in New York City.
Henry Cole is an award-winning illustrator whose quirky, sensitive illustrations have graced more than two dozen picture books, including Jack's Garden, which he also wrote; And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell; The Sissy Duckling by Harvey Fierstein; and Moosetache and Bad Boys, both by Margie Palatini. Henry lives in Washington, D.C.