A book based on the true story of two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo in New York City, this story explores the relationship between Roy and Silo and shows how they end up having a baby penguin of their own. This story is a great way to introduce the idea of different types of families to a preschool or kindergarten class. I recently read this book to a group of 4 and 5 year old children and I was saddened to hear a little girl shout “Ewww!” when the zookeeper in the story realized that Roy and Silo love each other. She couldn’t give any reason when I asked her why that part made her say ew. I realize that everyone has the right to raise their children as they see fit but it’s absolutely heartbreaking when people are raising their children to hate other people just because they are different.
The story is very touching (I may have teared up upon reading it for the first time) and well written with very natural and simple illustrations (no unrealistic, cartoon like penguins here) and would be a great book to read while learning about families, although educators who put it on their shelves should be aware that some parents may complain due to the “controversial” nature of the topic. The horror! Families that are not made up of one mommy, one daddy and 2.4 children! The writers used simple language that speaks to the children without talking down to them and they don’t dance around the subject. It’s quite clear- the penguins are both male, they love each other and are raising a baby together, get over it.