Sunday, June 11, 2006

And Tango Makes Three.

Over the last few months John and I have been collecting various children's books. We've come to realize that even children's books have come a long way since we were children. Our childhood favorites (Where The Wild Things Are & The Giving Tree) just had a cover, and then pages with ink on them. I've become infatuated with the kind of children's book that have a "touch and feel" aspect. If you haven't seen them they are really quite interesting. They come in the standard baby book style - extra thick, card board pages with lots of colorful pictures with the added benefit of various pieces of cloth and other textured material that actually feel interesting. For instance, one of the books has a dog and most of it's body is made out of a fur like when you read a book to a child, beyond just seeing the picture of the dog the child can actually feel it, or even pet it. Anyway, I love them - so with any luck our child will end up being at least half as interested in the "touch and feel" books as I am.

We've also come to realize that books really do cover almost any topic these days. When we first started working with the IAC ( they gave us several brochures that featured children's book that had main characters that were adopted, were in a family that is adopting, had a friend that had been adopted, etc. Children's books now cover basically any social issue you can think of. We were also very happy to find out that there are books that feature characters that are from same sex families. I guess it speaks to the fact that having two dads (or two moms) isn't unheard of anymore.

We'd read about And Tango Makes Three about a year ago in the New York Times. It's a really interesting TRUE story of two male, chinstrap penguins in a New York zoo who are determined to raise a chick of their own. When the zookeeper discovers that the two male penguins have built a nest and are sitting on a rock that closely resembles an egg he decides replace the rock with an actual penguin egg. Well, as you might have guessed the egg hatches and wouldn't you know it you have a baby penguin being raised by two male penguins. The book does a really great job of demonstrating the message of how important it is to accept differences and at the same time showing the message in a very well written story. On a side note I was happy to find out that two male penguins bonding for life doesn't just occur in zoos. In point of fact, Natural Geographic assures me that it happens quite often with penguins in natural environment. We highly recommend this book to everyone as beyond having a great message it's really just a fun story to read.

If you haven't already guessed it John and I are fairly avid readers... well, actually I guess John is an avid reader, and I just enjoy reading. John, like my mother, almost seem to make a job out of reading. That's not to suggest they don't enjoy reading, or that they see it as a task, but rather that they are so passionate about reading that it's a consistent part of their daily lives. Sometimes John will read two or three books in a week. This would have shocked me, except that growing up my mother had a book with her at all times. I, on the other hand, don't read two or three books a week. I'll admit that many times I'll only read a few books a month. For me keeping up with the daily newspaper and reading the current "best seller" book keeps me happy as far as the reading department goes. I guess it goes with out saying that we're both really looking forward to reading to our child.

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