About the book: The illustrated book is based on a true story of two male penguins who adopted an abandoned egg at New York City’s Central Park in the late 1990s.
Excerpt: “Two penguins in the penguin house were a little bit different. One was named Roy, and the other was named Silo. Roy and Silo were both boys. But they did everything together. They bowed to each other. And walked together. They sang to each other. And swam together. Wherever Roy went, Silo went too. They didn’t spend much time with the girl penguins, and the girl penguins didn’t spend much time with them. Instead Roy and Silo wound their necks around each other. Their keeper Mr. Gramzay noticed the two penguins and thought to himself, ‘They must be in love.'”
The controversy: In 2006, the book was moved from the children’s fiction section to children’s nonfiction at two Rolling Hills Consolidated Library’s branches, in St. Joseph and Savannah, Mo., after some parents complained it had homosexual undertones. It was also challenged at an elementary school library in Shiloh, Ill. A committee of school employees and a parent suggested that the book be moved to a separate area, requiring children to get parental permission before checking it out. The school’s superintendent, however, rejected the proposal and the book remained on the library shelf. In 2007, the book was pulled from four elementary school libraries in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., after a few parents and Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James doubted the story’s truthfulness. The books were returned after a local newspaper questioned the ban.