And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell and Henry Cole

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole is a wonderful story of a family of penguins that is based on real life events.


Published by Simon and Schuster this is the story of Roy and Silo, two penguins who lived together in a New York zoo, but unlike the other penguin couples Roy and Silo are both boys. They lived happily doing everything together, even building a nest just like all the other penguins. However, they soon realised the one thing they couldn’t do was lay an egg. The zoo keeper saw their eagerness to nurture and when an orphaned egg needed some parents he knew the perfect couple.

Roy and Silo dedicated themselves to caring for the egg, taking it in turns to sit on the nest day and night until one day it begins to crack and their daughter Tango is born. A perfect family and the first penguin in the zoo with two fathers.

Beautifully illustrated with delicate and detailed drawings this is a fitting tribute to such a gorgeous story. We particularly like the page where the egg starts to crack and its progress is shown through 12 images until you turn the page and… there’s Tango! The expressions and looks between Roy and Silo are subtle but convey enough meaning for the reader to infer their feelings.

It’s over ten years since this book was written and it has been met with the sort of resistance that is unfortunately still a part of our world. However, I am lifted when I read this to my children and the make up of this family is never something they question or mention. Why would they? This book represents real families, families they know and there is no reason for them to question these or any other family make up in a picture book.

This is the power of children’s literature, to promote tolerance and foster acceptance of others from a young age. Books like this are so important for all children but especially for those with LGBT parents. When a child can see themselves, their family represented in a book it is beyond empowering.

The overall message throughout this book is about recognising and accepting differences with the acts of the penguin family held up against other types of families to display that they all do the same things. A positive and beautiful example of the most important quality in any family, love.

Buy the book from Waterstones.

This post contains affiliate links that won’t change the way you shop but might make us a little bit of money… that we will probably spend on more books.


16 thoughts on “And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell and Henry Cole

Add yours

  1. Great that the book shows diversity to the very young. We need more of this. Thanks for reviewing.


  2. You had me at the very word “penguins” but I like the ethos too and not just for LGBT community but for all of us as all our families are different and we as individuals are all differernt and special too


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