By Jim Suhr
SHILOH, Ill. – A picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin is getting a chilly reception among some parents who worry about the book's availability to children – and the reluctance of school administrators to restrict access to it.
The concerns are the latest involving “And Tango Makes Three,” the illustrated children's book based on a true story of two male penguins in New York City's Central Park Zoo that adopted a fertilized egg and raised the chick as their own.
Complaining about the book's homosexual undertones, some parents of Shiloh Elementary School students believe the book – available to be checked out of the school's library in this 11,000-resident town 20 miles east of St. Louis – tackles topics their children aren't ready to handle.
Lilly Del Pinto thought the book looked charming when her 5-year-old daughter brought it home in September. Del Pinto said she was halfway through reading it to her daughter “when the zookeeper said the two penguins must be in love.”
“That's when I ended the story,” she said.
Their request: Move the book to the library's regular shelves and restrict it to a section for mature issues, perhaps even requiring parental permission before a child can check it out...