Gay penguin book sends parents flapping

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A children’s book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin has some St Louis area parents grumbling about the book’s appropriateness for elementary students.

Some have suggested And Tango Makes Three be moved from a general shelf in the school library to a restricted area where parental permission is needed in order for students to check out the books, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The concerns are the latest involving the illustrated children’s book based on a true story of two male zoo penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo who adopted a fertilised egg and raised it.

Complaining about the book’s homosexual undertones, some parents of Shiloh Elementary School students believe the book tackles topics their young children aren’t ready to handle.

One parent said she was blindsided when she began reading the story to her daughter-a kindergartener who is too young to understand sexual themes.

“When it came to the point where the zookeeper saw that the penguins were in love, I redirected (my daughter),” she said. “That was the end of the story for her.”

Another parent said that while the book was fine for his 7-year-old son to read, it was not appropriate for his 5-year-old daughter.

Superintendent Jennifer Filyaw says the book will stay put. “My feeling is that a library is to serve an entire population,” Filyaw told the Associated Press.

Earlier this year, The book, written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson was forced out of the children’s section of and into the non-fiction section of libraries in Savannah and St. Joseph in Missouri.

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