Estimated read time: 4 min read

One Sentence Summary

Two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo become proud parents with the help of a caring zookeeper.


In the heartwarming children's book "And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson, readers are taken on a journey of love, acceptance, and the beauty of non-traditional families. Inspired by a true story, this delightful tale teaches important lessons about diversity and the power of love.

Brief Synopsis

Set in the Central Park Zoo in New York City, "And Tango Makes Three" tells the story of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who form a deep bond and aspire to start a family of their own. While other penguin couples are busy building nests and hatching eggs, Roy and Silo long for a baby penguin of their own.

Main Characters

RoyA male penguin who longs to start a family with his partner, Silo.
SiloRoy's partner and fellow male penguin who shares the desire to have a baby penguin.
TangoThe baby penguin who is hatched and raised by Roy and Silo.
ZookeeperThe caring zookeeper who notices Roy and Silo's desire for a family and helps them make their dream come true.

Summary of Story Points

Chapter 1: Roy and Silo Meet

Roy and Silo, two male penguins, meet and form a strong bond at the Central Park Zoo. They spend their days swimming, playing, and enjoying each other's company.

Chapter 2: Nest Building

As spring arrives, all the penguins begin building nests in preparation for mating season. Roy and Silo are inspired by the other penguin couples but feel sad because they cannot build a nest of their own.

Chapter 3: An Idea

Observing Roy and Silo's sadness, the zookeeper comes up with an idea to help them fulfill their desire to have a family. She gives them an extra egg from another penguin couple who cannot take care of it.

Chapter 4: Hatching Tango

Roy and Silo take turns keeping the egg warm and eagerly await its hatching. Finally, the egg cracks open, and Tango, their baby penguin, enters the world. Roy and Silo are overjoyed and become loving and nurturing parents to Tango.

Chapter 5: Tango's Adventures

Tango grows up surrounded by love and attention from Roy and Silo. They teach Tango to swim, slide on the ice, and explore the world around them. Tango becomes a beloved member of the penguin community, proving that love knows no boundaries.

Main Events

  1. Roy and Silo meet and form a bond.
  2. The penguins begin building nests for mating season.
  3. Roy and Silo feel sad because they can't build their own nest.
  4. The zookeeper gives them an egg to hatch.
  5. Tango, their baby penguin, hatches and becomes part of their family.
  6. Roy, Silo, and Tango enjoy various adventures together.

Themes and Insights

Acceptance and Love

The central theme of "And Tango Makes Three" is acceptance and love. The book highlights the importance of embracing diversity and different family structures. It teaches children that love is what truly makes a family, regardless of societal norms.

Non-Traditional Families

The story challenges traditional notions of what a family should look like by showcasing the unique bond between Roy, Silo, and Tango. It encourages readers to recognize and respect all types of families, emphasizing that love and care are what truly matter.

Overcoming Challenges

The book also touches on the theme of overcoming challenges. Roy and Silo face obstacles in their desire to have a family, but with the help of the zookeeper, they find a way to fulfill their dream. This inspires readers to persevere and find solutions to the challenges they face.

Reader's Takeaway

"And Tango Makes Three" is a heartwarming and beautifully illustrated book that introduces children to the concepts of love, diversity, and acceptance. It encourages readers to embrace different family structures and teaches valuable lessons about the power of love and the importance of inclusion.


In "And Tango Makes Three," Justin Richardson skillfully tells the inspiring true story of two male penguins who defy societal norms to create a loving family. Through its engaging storyline, lovable characters, and important themes, this book serves as a powerful tool in teaching children about the beauty and diversity of families. It is a must-read for both children and adults alike, leaving a lasting impression of acceptance, love, and the power of family bonds.

And Tango Makes Three FAQ

  1. What is 'And Tango Makes Three' about?

    'And Tango Makes Three' is a children's book based on a true story about two male penguins named Roy and Silo who form a loving partnership and together raise a baby penguin named Tango.

  2. Who are the authors of 'And Tango Makes Three'?

    The authors of 'And Tango Makes Three' are Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell.

  3. Is 'And Tango Makes Three' suitable for children?

    Yes, 'And Tango Makes Three' is a children's book that promotes love, acceptance, and diversity. It is suitable for children of all ages.

  4. Is 'And Tango Makes Three' based on a true story?

    Yes, 'And Tango Makes Three' is based on the true story of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo in New York City who successfully hatched and raised a baby penguin together.

  5. What is the message of 'And Tango Makes Three'?

    The message of 'And Tango Makes Three' is that love comes in many different forms and families can be diverse. It encourages acceptance and celebrates the importance of love and nurturing.

  6. Is 'And Tango Makes Three' a popular book?

    Yes, 'And Tango Makes Three' has gained popularity worldwide and has received numerous awards and accolades for its positive portrayal of same-sex parenting.

  7. Can 'And Tango Makes Three' be used to teach children about diversity?

    Absolutely! 'And Tango Makes Three' is a great tool for teaching children about diversity, acceptance, and different types of families. It promotes understanding and respect for all.

  8. Is 'And Tango Makes Three' available in multiple languages?

    Yes, 'And Tango Makes Three' has been translated into several languages to reach a wider audience and share its heartwarming message with children around the world.

  9. Are there any controversies surrounding 'And Tango Makes Three'?

    Yes, 'And Tango Makes Three' has faced some controversies and challenges due to its subject matter, but it has also sparked important discussions about inclusivity, tolerance, and the importance of diverse literature for children.

  10. Where can I purchase 'And Tango Makes Three'?

    You can purchase 'And Tango Makes Three' from various online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or directly from the publisher. It is also available in many local bookstores.