Gay penguin book still topping ‘most banned’ list

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A children’s book that tells the story of two male penguins raising a child together is still the third-most banned book in the US.

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell has been on the American Library Association’s (ALA) list of the most complained about books for a number of years, topping the list in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

The book, written by a gay couple, is based of the true story of penguins Roy and Silo, who formed a couple in New York’s Central Park Zoo.

They attempted to hatch a rock, which was replaced by a rejected egg from a mixed gender couple by zookeepers.

They then adopted the baby penguin Tango as their own. The couple eventually split when Silo became interested in a female penguin.

The book has been accused of promoting homosexuality and being ‘anti-family’ as well as unsuitable for its age group.

Despite a shift in popular opinion on gay rights in the US since the book was first published, it still managed to rank third on this year’s ALA list.

The book is behind The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – which tells the story of a young Native American – and Persepolis, about a young girl growing up in Iran.

Last year, a Kent zoo insisted that a pair of gay penguins who are raising a baby together are doing a much better job than their straight counterparts.

Zoo owner Tony Binskin said of penguins Jumbs and Kermit of Wingham Wildlife Park: “These two have so far proven to be two of the best penguin parents we have had yet.

“Whilst pair bonding often results in no result other than eliminating those two animals from the breeding population of that species, in captivity it can have greatly positive effects.

“We are still very much starting our breeding efforts with this species, (…) but having such good surrogate parents available should we need them is a huge bonus for us.”