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ERIC Number: EJ955311
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-1521-7779
Creating a Controversial Picturebook: Discussions with the Creators of "And Tango Makes Three"
Young, Craig A.
Journal of Children's Literature, v37 n2 p30-38 Fall 2011
Censorship is not a new phenomenon in the field of children's literature. Children's and young adult books are often scrutinized for text and illustrations that may be found questionable for use with young readers. If deemed inappropriate, these books become the subjects of controversial debate and may fall victim to censorship. Although numerous novels have been the targets of challenges, picturebooks are by no means immune to the attitudes and inclinations of individuals who may find their messages or depictions unsuitable for children. "And Tango Makes Three" (Richardson & Parnell, 2005), a picturebook that recounts the true story of two male penguins that hatch and raise a chick as a part of their family at New York City's Central Park Zoo, is one such book. Despite the author's own enthusiastic response and positive analyses of the book, "And Tango Makes Three" has generated a great deal of concern for many people. In fact, the book received more challenges than any other book in the United States for three years in a row and again topped the most challenged list in 2010. Various reasons--from religious objections to problems with content and accusations of age-group inappropriateness--have been offered as challenges to the book. Members of the creative team have been directly accused of creating the book for nefarious purposes. In this article, the author synthesizes interviews with the creative team responsible for "And Tango Makes Three" and describes their collaboration, which culminated in a high-quality, yet controversial, picturebook. (Contains 1 footnote.)
Children's Literature Assembly. 940 Vandalia Road, Morgantown, WV 26501. Tel: 304-291-2393; Fax: 304-291-2393; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York