It's Day 10 of our 30 Days of Diverse Picture Books. I recently read a piece on the Diversity in YA blog about the intersection of banned books and diversity. It was very thought-provoking, and the research done by Malinda Lo, while informal, suggests that there does seem to be a tendency for diverse books to be challenged. I don't know what the answer is to overcome that, but I know one thing: stories like that make me want to read and share diverse books more than ever!
And I'm doing just that with tonight's pick, a fantastic picture book that seems always to end up on the challenge list: And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. The story is based on that of Roy and Silo, two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo, who became a couple and thanks to the intervention of a zookeeper looking for a home for an egg, also became parents. The book is lovely and sweet, and a nice reassurance for kids with same-sex parents, even as it introduces other children to the idea in a nonthreatening fashion.
It's probably not hard to guess why the book is challenged, but it makes me very sad. I can't help but think of the message that gets sent to every LGBTQ child or family every time this book ends up on the challenged list. I'm proud to read Tango to Sprout -- especially proud because for him it's more about the fact that the parents are raising a baby than it is about the same-sex aspect. (Plus it's nice to have a solidly affirming adoption book, no matter who the parents are!) There's hope yet that the next generation of kiddos will be open, accepting and loving of all people, period.
Add And Tango Makes Three to your rotation simply because it's beautifully illustrated and perfectly told, and appreciate the fact that it makes everyone's world a little broader in the process.
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, published by Simon and Schuster