The View cohost Joy Behar announced on-air during today episode that the show will introduce a weekly segment called “Joy’s Banned Book Club,” with the inaugural selection of the 2005 children’s book And Tango Makes Three.
The book, written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell with illustrations by Henry Cole, is based on the real-life story of two Central Park Zoo male penguins who form a bond and raise a newly born chick. Since its publication, And Tango Makes Three has won numerous literary awards, but last month the book was deemed unsuitable for elementary students and banned by the Escambia County School Board, near Pensacola, Florida, for what the board called “sexual innuendo.”
“This is not some kinky Shades of Grey for penguins,” Behar said on the show today. “It’s a sweet, graceful way to introduce children to the concept of acceptance of same sex relationships and non-traditional families.”
Behar noted that last year saw more than 2,500 instances of book banning in more than 5,000 schools, including such classics as To Kill A Mockingbird, Of Mice And Men and The Catcher in the Rye. Behar quoted the ACLU in saying, “A person can decide they don’t want to read a book. A person can decide they don’t want their child to read a book. But a person can’t decide that an entire school or town can’t read a book.”
She added, “As for And Tango Makes Three, our studio audience can decide for themselves because you’re all getting a copy.”
Watch the announcement of the Joy’s Banned Book Club inaugural selection below:
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