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


In the middle of New York in Central Park zoo there live two penguins called Roy and Silo. They do everything together, just like the other penguin families and all the other animal families in the zoo. But Roy and Silo are a little bit different, they are both boy penguins.

They do everything the other penguin families do. They bow to each other, sing to each other and build a home together. But when it comes to laying and hatching an egg they realise that the other penguins can do something they can’t.


They lovingly care for a rock in their nest but nothing happens. Poor Roy and Silo. But their keeper Mr Gramzay has been watching them and he has an idea. He gives them an egg that needs to be cared for and Roy and Silo know exactly what to do. Before long…


It takes two to make a Tango! I know! I can hear your hearts melting from here, that one even got in through my hide. This is a gem of a book, proving the quote from the back cover ‘all you need to make a family is love’. I love the gentle illustrations and the subtle expressions on the penguins faces.

Tango is a beautiful book to introduce same sex parents, adoption and diverse families to young children. Children are used to animals being used to introduce human situations in picture books but Tango goes one step further and explicitly links the animal families to human families at the beginning and again at the end of the book. This is a touching way of emphasising the similarities to children’s own home lives and experiences and the positivity of the message. It’s a gorgeous way to tell the story, it feels like being taken by the hand and gently led in to the zoo and introduced to the characters. Perfect for little ones.

For slightly older children the author’s note at the back explains the true story behind the book. It includes some facts about penguins and tells the real story of where Roy and Silo’s egg came from. Older children will lap this up and it will enhance the message of the book and the connection to real life. Great touch!

I am just a little bit in love with Tango and I think I would like to shake Mr Gramzay by the hand. Hurrah to all involved for creating a book full of positivity, celebration of diversity and above all, love.

Source: Purchased for Rainbow library, via Letterbox Library thanks to kind donation from Alison Fennell

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

Add yours

  1. What a delightful book – I bet children will enjoy this absorbing tale so beautifully illustrated. I am pleased to have helped get it – thanks Carmen

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