Monday, March 06, 2006

Gay Penguins Provoke Outrage

I write about a lot of book challenges here, but this one has me more upset than anything in a long time.
A children's book about two male penguins who raise a baby penguin has been moved to the nonfiction section of two public library branches after parents complained it had homosexual undertones.

The illustrated book, And Tango Makes Three, is based on a true story of two male penguins, named Roy and Silo, who adopted an abandoned egg at New York City's Central Park Zoo in the late 1990s.

The book, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, was moved from the children's section at two Rolling Hills' Consolidated Library's branches in Savannah and St. Joseph in northwest Missouri.

Two parents had expressed concerns about the book last month.

Barbara Read, the Rolling Hills' director, said experts report that adoptions aren't unusual in the penguin world. However, moving the book to the nonfiction section would decrease the chance that it would "blindside" readers, she said.
Uh, I'm sorry, but this book is perfectly age-appropriate, and homosexuality is something that exists, and definitely not something that people, even children, need to be "protected" from. Many children's books include African American characters; should they be removed from the children's section too, because some people are racist and might not want their kids encountering black characters?

I'm deeply disappointed that there is a librarian anywhere that would take a position like this. And what about the kids of GLBT familes? By putting the books on a "special" shelf, the message being sent to THOSE kids is, "You're different. You don't belong among the rest of us."

Outrageous.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Bryon said...

It is crazy, you're right. At the same time though, I don't think I would be able to write about this on our blog for students. I could try... and maybe I will later in the week. I just have a feeling someone may tell me to take it down. Shrug. I dunno.

In other news, the war for Grendel has a new chapter. www.readandwriting.com

8:40 AM  
Blogger Jordan Sonnenblick said...

It's incredibly depressing that we have to fight all across the country to sustain rights that I always took absolutely for granted growing up in the USA. The radical right is just so tiring -- which is clearly their intent.

Sigh.

3:30 AM  
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