“And Tango Makes Three’’ is a children’s book that is based on a true story of Silo and Roy, a male pair of the Chinstrap Penguins living at the Central Park Zoo in New York. The book describes six years of their life, when they became a couple and were provided with a fertilized egg that they nurtured until a new penguin named Tango hatched out. However, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding this book. For instance, in 2006, about 546 formal requests were presented to American Library Association in order to have the book removed from the libraries (Suhr 7). One of the convincing arguments regarding this book is the depiction of homosexual pairing (Mitrano 14). However, from the critical reading of the book, it becomes apparent that homosexuality is brought out as something that just happens and does not depict the views of the homophobes. Furthermore, these aspersions on immorality of the book are made on the grounds that Silo and Roy sleep together in the same nest. Nevertheless, the book’s intended audience, which represents children from four to eight years, is unlikely to link this with sexual activity.
Another claim is the problem of anti-family, which is often linked to homosexuality (Mitrano 14). However, it is worth pointing that families are not just created biologically, but through love and care as the book illustrates. Moreover, the author points out how traditional animal families are established, “Every year at the very same time, the girl penguins start noticing the boy penguins. And the boy penguins start noticing the girls. After the right girl and right boy find each other, they become a couple” (Richardson 6). In addition, not considering the fact that they were both male, Silo and Roy were good parents. From the highlighted claims, it can be noted that the controversy is not warranted.
Classmate 1 agrees with the fact that this true story has raised controversy regarding whether or not same-sex couples should raise a child. However, according to the story, the keeper noticed that two penguins were in love and, therefore, introduced the fertilized egg to avoid its breakage. According to Classmate 1, this story can teach children that any same-sex family can raise a child if they feel they want to do so, and do not consider what the world says. Indeed, it is true considering the fact that two penguins were able to provide good parenting to Tango. In addition, it is important to note that the story illustrates the fact that same-sex family does not only occur within humans, but is also present in the animal kingdom. Despite the fact that this is considered unnatural, it actually happens in nature, as Classmate 1 points out.
Just like Classmate 1, the second Classmate also outlines that the main controversial theme regarding this story concerns the issue whether same-sex family can raise a child. According to Classmate 2, despite the fact that this story is considered to raise issues of homosexuality, it goes a long way to teach children that all human beings are equal. Children are taught about different types of family, but the bottom line is that Tango’s family is just like any other family despite being established by two fathers, Silo and Roy. I completely agree that people have the right to choose the type of lifestyle they wish to lead, which should not be used as a basis to underrate them in the society. Therefore, it is important to understand the fact that we are all equal regardless of the sexual orientation.