Tag Archives: literature

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

“And Tango Makes Three” is the true story of 3 penguins at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. It is the loveliest children’s book about love and patience, heterosexuality and homosexuality, families, cooperation and penguin behaviour. But, most of all it’s about love.

Roy and Silo are 2 boy-penguins, who picked each other during  the time that comes every year when “the girl penguins start noticing the boy penguins. And the boy penguins start noticing the girls.” And they do everything together, including making  a home together, “just like the other penguin couples”.

Roy and Silo want a baby very much, but it’s the one thing that they aren’t able to do like the other penguins. Until, one day….

The story is written by an assistant professor of psychiatry (Justin Richardson) and a playwright (Peter Parnell) and is so gentle and tender, it will touch your heart. If you want to introduce a young child to concepts that some find difficult to talk about, just give them this book and they will understand everything they need to know.


The book has won many awards and, stirred up a lot of controversy since it suggests that Roy and Silo are gay. If you’d like to know more about homosexual behaviour among animals, click here.

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Adieu mes quinze ans by Claude Campagne

I’ve never been a fan of North American literature for teens. It lacks intelligence. Especially, in recent years…if I see one more book that involves vampires or werewolves; over-the-top, special-effect-type drama; situations that wouldn’t happen in real life…well, I don’t know, I suppose my head will explode or something. Luckily, there are alternatives.

“Adieu mes quinze ans” is a book for teens that I first read when I was 7 or 8 years old and I’ve loved it ever since. I’ve guarded it fiercely in my (unfortunately) reduced book collection all these years and return to it regularly. It is a book that involves mystery, but it unfolds gently, with honesty, tenderness, intelligence and respect for its characters and reader. Within the first chapter, the reader is drawn into the story….

Fanny is 15 years old, attends a Lycee 7 km from her home and takes care of her 20-year-old brother, William (who works as a carpenter), and their grandfather (a retired sailor), whom they call Captain. They live simply, in a town called Fauvembergues; in a house they call Sundial, a small part of the property that used to be owned by local gentry.

One day, Captain invites a Norwegian girl to live with them, but is elusive about why. Fanny becomes worried about the changes this stranger will bring to the peaceful home. Right away, it seems to Fanny that Ingvild may take over everything she loves. Including Yann, a young man who is new to their town and has slowly become a part of their family. Seems like everyone is captivated  by Ingvild. Especially, Yann.

And, then, there’s that letter from Yann’s mother that questions his decision to stay in Fauvembergues…”wouldn’t you do better to give up your search altogether? There’s nothing but disappointment waiting for you my boy. I told you that that man was only informed about certain…” And that’s all.

It seems that only the Captain and Yann know what’s going on.

All that Fanny knows is that something very profound has been set in motion. Something that needs to be handled with care and that will change her and Sundial in unexpected ways.

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