105 Ways to Give a Book

Those Poor Penguins

Really? We have to go through this again? And in my own state, my own Northern Virginia even. I’m so disappointed.

Yes, And Tango Makes Three is in the center of another challenge, as reported in the Washington Post. Man, let’s give those poor penguins some peace. I love this book, and I’ll contend now and forever that it’s not harmful to children. It’s. Not. Harmful. Even if you’re worried about children learning the concept that two males can raise a child — and wake up to America if you are — it’s not a book about the so-called “gay agenda.” The book is based on a true story of two penguins. Penguins. I don’t know about you, but the last I heard, the penguins walked out of talks about the gay agenda after their constant tuxedo-wearing was mocked as very “establishment.”

Yes, you could certainly use this book to open discussion about different kinds of families. But ten will get you twenty that most young kids reading this book will not pick up on the topic in an uncomfortable way for parent or child. Certainly, nothing that couldn’t be resolved by a casual, “Yes, two boy penguins. That is interesting.”

You know what? I don’t even want to keep talking about it today. It’s almost seventy degrees outside, and I’m not spending any more time online. I wrote about it before, and I’ll probably be writing about it again before this blog life is through. Carry on Tango, carry on.

(Thanks to Bookshelves of Doom for the tip.)


Jenny said...

Reading this makes me so sad. I had to check this book out from the public library in order to read it to my students (5th graders) this year. I read it during Banned Books Week. About half of the elementary schools in my district (not the one that just banned it) have this book. My school is not one of them. Our librarian, who is amazing and phenomenal, is gun shy about this book. It's sad. It is a wonderful book.

By the way, I loved your comment about the penguins walking out of talks about the gay agenda. Thanks for making me laugh in the midst of this.

MmeT said...

Oh, I might have to put this title on my blog JUST so I can have the tag Gay Penguin Love. Too funny. I have a 6th grader who wants to write a feature article on single-sex classrooms. Her angle? Will it make students gay?
Sports teams-all in danger of being gay. Founding fathers of the constitution were obviously all in danger of being gay. Rolling Stones - gay. Without the same-sex cohabitation of Artcic animals being discussed in earlier grades this is what you get!

Unknown said...

I read the article in the Washington Post yesterday. The thing that really made me upset is that they followed their procedures - a committee reviewed the book and recommended keeping it, another committee reviewed it and recommended keeping it - and then the Superintendent basically ignored both committees and banned it anyway! What's with that? Why bother even having a challenge procedure if the Superintendent can just do what he or she wants anyway?

Anonymous said...

The objections to this book are so discouraging. They make me think badly of people.

And, seriously, 70 degrees??? I am so jealous. It's 30 here and supposed to be dropping down to the teens tomorrow. This is the time of year in WNY when winter becomes very tiresome.

Paige Y. said...

I've never seen the book -- I'm in a middle school -- but I've certainly heard plenty about it over the past year or so. It just drives me crazy that people are so closed-minded but I must admit it doesn't surprise me. I agree with Sheila that the most shocking part is the superintendent deciding not to follow the committee's recommendation and pulled the book anyway. I'm sure that move did wonders for his relationship with the teachers in his school system. Some day this issue isn't going to be so divisive. I just hope I live to see it.

Vivian Mahoney said...

The superintendent is allowed to make a "split decision" and pull the book from the shelves but keep it in the professional collection. Even though two different committees voted in favor of keeping the book. Now some parents want to challenge the superintendent's decision to put the book back on the shelves. And school officials say there is no process for that? Are they serious?