Friday, July 11, 2014

And Tango Was His Name-O


Until this week, I have never heard of this children's non-fiction "And Tango Makes Three". It is supposedly a heart-warming story about two male chinstrap penguins, Roy and Silo who successfully hatched and raised a baby penguin, Tango. Tango's biological parents, Betty and Porkey (who named these penguins?) are unable to multi-task and after laying two fertile eggs, one was given to Roy and Silo.

Now I'll never know because this book is now unattainable. You know why? The National Library Board pulled this book from its shelves after a complaint by ONE reader. ONE reader. Within two days too! First of all, I'm indignant and shocked that the library board actually reads complaint letters from readers. Once years ago, (I forget when) I sent in a complaint that the shelving does not adequately cater to the taller craft books causing the books to be stacked with the book spine facing down instead of standing up and resulting in dog ears and whatnots as people can't read the book titles and need to wrench the books out - I was met with silence. It seems tall craft books getting dog-earred did not touch on a nerve.

This ONE reader complained about 2 books - the Tango one and The White Swan Express. Both books apparently are not pro-family enough.

Despite two online petitions calling on the Library Board to reinstate the three books, (there is one other book pulled for the same non pro-family reason - Who's In My Family: All About Our Families), the board is not backing down and will destroy the books. (here)

I'm very disturbed by the plan to destroy the books. Geez, doesn't this go against everything we've been taught? Destroy? Isn't that a bit harsh? It's not the SARS virus. Why not put them in a dusty archive? Why not give them away? Why not create a shelf labelled "Not pro-family enough"?

You know what the library should pull instead? People who remove their smelly shoes and socks in the library. It's a library, not your home.


Sandra :) said...

I agree with you completely. It's sad that this is still an issue anywhere, but we've definitely come a long way in the last few decades. Just - not far enough, or fast enough. It's going to take decades, and I suspect that there are countries that will never change their mindset.

pennydog said...

Oh FFS this is ridiculous! I may buy the Tango book for my baby half-brother-in-law (he is 4 on tuesday) just because I can and want to support this book.

Oh and guess what, world? Some kids are adopted and are all the better for understanding how their past and present fits together. How the adoption book can upset ANYONE I have no frigging idea. I get that the hinted-at-gay penguins isn't acceptable to some naive/archaic sects of some religions but adoption? Seriously?!?!

Nueyer said...

Such drastic measures for a single complaint. oh well, now these books are more famous than ever in Singapore. In the lovely world of internet shopping, this move just might spur a spurt in sales for the books

Jane McLellan said...

How very odd! Must be an important person who complained.

Kate said...

Our minister read the Tango book during Children's time, last week. It is a really sweet story.
I wonder who gets to decide the definition of "family"?

Linda said...

well said!

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