Review: Banned Picture Books

Hopefully you’re aware that this week is Banned Books Week. If not, you know now.

Every year the American Library Association (ALA) puts out a list of the most challenged/banned books of the previous year. In 2017 (click here for the full list) the following picture books placed at numbers 9 & 10.

Title: And Tango Makes Three
Author: Justin Parnell, Peter Richardson & Henry Cole (Illustrator)
Format: Picture Book
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 1, 2005

[Read | Skim] [Buy | Borrow]

Reasons Challenged: Same-sex relationship

Who doesn’t love penguins? I remember when And Tango Makes Three first came out and the media attention behind it. After some research I thought the story was even more endearing.

It’s a heartwarming story of two male chinstrap penguins, Rory and Silo who become partners and raise chick. They built a nest just like all the other male/female couple penguins, sat on an egg, and raised a happy healthy penguin chick, named Tango.

At first it was a rock that Roy found, but lucky for them another penguin couple had two eggs and Mr. Gramzay took one of the eggs and gave to Roy and Silo. And before ya’ll get your panties in a bunch about that, researchers have found that when penguins have more than one egg, typically only one survives.

The message is quite simple:

Love is love and non-traditional families can exist and raise happy healthy offspring.

Homes with same-sex couples are really no different from homes with the traditional male/female couples. The only difference is that there are two mommies or two daddies.


Title: I Am Jazz
Author: Jazz Jennings, Jessica Herthel and Shelagh McNicholas (Illustrator)
Format: Picture Book
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction
Publisher: Dial Books
Release Date: September 4, 2014

[Read | Skim] [Buy | Borrow]

Reasons Challenged: Addresses gender identity

I have heard this term Gender Dysphoria and never really understood it until I was talking to someone who experienced it. And I won’t say that I have a complete understanding of gender dysphoria, but I better off than I was and can empathize with those that do experience it.

Jazz Jennings was born a boy and her parents were raising her as a boy, but she didn’t feel like a boy. She felt like she was in the wrong body. A girl in a boy’s body. Now I know this is really no comparison, but think about a time you felt uncomfortable in your skin and magnify that a billion times

I was surprised at how well this was done to help other boys and girls begin to understand the skin they’re in and that being different is okay. I think it can also help parents of children that have gender dysphoria understand what their child is going through, and it will also help teachers and classmates.

She talks about the day her life changed forever. When she found out that she has gender dysphoria and is transgender and how her parents told her that they love her no matter what and encouraged her to

Be who you are.

Jazz mentions that there are kids who tease her, call her names or ignore her altogether because she is transgender. She talks about her struggles at school being forced to play on the boys soccer team and using the boys bathroom and how it made her unhappy.

My only complaint about the book is when she talks about what I consider to be stereotypical things that boys and girls like to play with. For example boys like to play with tools, trucks and pretend to be superheroes and girls like frills, makeup, high heels, tutus and mermaid costumes.

So, um, yeah no. When I was younger I loved to play with tools and trucks and hated frills and makeup. And to this day I’d rather being playing with a truck than putting on makeup. And, one of my male cousins loved to play with dolls and cook (drove his dad bonkers).

🗣Confab Here!🗣

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