Skip to Main Content

And Tango Makes Three

Illustrated by Henry Cole

LIST PRICE ₹299.00


About The Book

One of the six political books for kids you should definitely read according to Zoe Williams in the Guardian, November 2018!

Roy and Silo are just like the other penguin couples at the zoo - they bow to each other, walk together and swim together. But Roy and Silo are a little bit different - they're both boys.

Then, one day, when Mr Gramzay the zookeeper finds them trying to hatch a stone, he realises that it may be time for Roy and Silo to become parents for real.

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to And Tango Makes Three 

Discussion Questions

1.  And Tango Makes Three is a true story. What does this mean? Do you know of other true stories that have been made into books?

2.  “Family” is a prominent theme in And Tango Makes Three. Discuss the concept of a “family.” What constitutes a family? Tango’s family is different, but how is it the same as any other family in the zoo? In the world?

3.  Roy and Silo are a little bit different from the other penguins in the zoo. What does it mean to be different? Why is it sometimes good to be different?

4.  The Central Park Zoo, where And Tango Makes Three takes place, is home to all kinds of animal families. But Tango’s family is unlike the other families in the zoo. Tango has two fathers instead of the traditional mother and father. Do you have a nontraditional family, or do you know someone who does? Do you think that Tango is missing out by not having a mother?

5.  Mr. Gramzay, the penguin keeper at the Central Park Zoo, is very sympathetic to Roy and Silo. He is accepting of their differences and wants to help them become a family. How can you learn from Mr. Gramzay’s actions in the book? Who else is accepting of Roy, Silo, and Tango in this story?

6.  Mr. Gramzay decides to give Roy and Silo an egg to hatch in their nest. Why do you think he does this? What does he see in Roy and Silo that makes him decide that they would be good at raising a baby? Do you think that Roy and Silo are good parents? Why?

7.  Responsibility, devotion, caring, and persistence are all important themes in this book. How so? Can you identify different parts of the book where these themes are obvious?
8.  Think about Roy and Silo and their behavior in the book, both with each other and with Tango. How is penguin behavior similar to the behavior of humans? How is it different?

9.  If you had the opportunity to visit a zoo what would you like to see? Why do you think zoos exist in the world?

Activities, Projects, and Research

1.  With a parent or teacher’s help, find out more about Central Park and the Central Park Zoo by visiting the library or consulting the Internet. Here are some questions you should consider while conducting your research: How and when was Central Park created? When did the Central Park Zoo open? What other places are there to visit in Central Park? How is this park important to the residents of New York City? 

2.  According to the author’s note in And Tango Makes Three, there are over ten million chinstrap penguins in the world. Complete a research project on chinstrap penguins. To get started, find out the answers to the following questions: Where do chinstrap penguins live? What do they eat? What is their natural habitat is like? How does their habitat in a zoo differ from their natural habitat? After finding out the answers to these questions and more, talk to the other students in your class about your findings. Share your answers with each other in written and illustrated reports, or collaborate to design a collective bulletin board with your information.

3.  Did you know that chinstrap penguins are just one of eighteen different species of penguins found around the globe? Find out about the other types of penguins that live in the world. How do these penguins differ from the chinstrap penguins? How are they alike? How do penguins differ from other birds?

4.  Mr. Gramzay is the penguin keeper in the story. Learn more about what it means to be a penguin keeper. What are the daily responsibilities of a penguin keeper? What kind of education do penguin keepers need? Would you like to be a penguin keeper one day?

5.  Pretend you are a penguin! Collect small stones around your school or home and build your own miniature penguin nest. Designate a round object as your penguin egg and take turns sitting on it. You can also practice walking, bowing, and singing like a penguin. 

6.  And Tango Makes Three shows how Roy and Silo became a family. Now it’s your turn to find out how your family got started. How did your family come to be? Where did your parents and grandparents meet? How many children do they have? Have a classroom discussion about the origins of families.

7.  In addition to penguins, there are many other animal families that make their homes in zoos. Learn more about the animals mentioned in the book, such as red panda bears, monkeys, toads, toucans, and cotton-top tamarins. Choose a zoo near your home to visit with an adult. Do the same animals that live in the Central Park Zoo live in the zoo near your home? Or are they different?

Further Resources (Wildlife Conservation Society – the Web site of New York City zoos and aquariums)

This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.



About The Authors

Justin Richardson, MD, is the coauthor, with Peter Parnell, of the award-winning picture book And Tango Makes Three. Dr. Richardson is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia and Cornell and the coauthor of Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They’d Ask). Dr. Richardson and his advice have been featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post, on the Today show and NPR’s Morning Edition, and in numerous magazines. Dr. Richardson lectures to parents and teachers on parenting and the sexual development of children.

Photo Credit:

Peter Parnell is the coauthor, with Justin Richardson, of And Tango Makes Three. He is a playwright whose plays have been produced at the Public Theater and Playwrights Horizons in New York City, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and the Seattle Repertory Company, among others. His play QED was produced on Broadway. He has written extensively for television as a producer for both The West Wing and The Guardian; he has also written episodes of Maurice Sendak’s series Little Bear. He lives in New York City.

About The Illustrator

Photograph © Henry Cole

Henry Cole has written and illustrated more than 150 books for children, including Spot, the CatAnd Tango Makes ThreeOink?; and Little Bo in France. He is also the illustrator of With a Little Help from My Friends by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. A former elementary school teacher, he now writes and paints full time.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK (March 22, 2012)
  • Length: 32 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781847381484
  • Ages: 3 and up

Browse Related Books

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this illustrator: Henry Cole