At our February “Valentine’s Day” meeting, we let an adorable penguin family from Central Park Zoo teach about the love of family. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell is the endearing true story of two male penguins who fall in love (so to speak) and want an egg like the other penguin couples. Since they can’t lay their own egg, the zookeeper gives them one to adopt as their own. They care for the egg until it hatches and raise the baby penguin. The story is a favorite among many of our book club families. Toward the end of the book, the children at the zoo cheer: “Hooray Roy! Hooray Silo! Welcome Tango!” and my son loves to cheer along. As a parent, I appreciate the gentle message on the last page: “At night the three penguins returned to their nest, there they snuggled together, and like all the other penguins in the penguin house, and all the other animals in the zoo, and all the families in the big city around them, they went to sleep.” Families are families.
After reading the book, our little ones had the opportunity to “hatch” a mini ceramic penguin that had been frozen in a heart ice cube. They used plastic pipettes and warm water to melt the ice around the penguin. The process is a great fine motor activity! Both our younger members (about 1 1/2 to 2 years) and older members (nearly 4) were engaged with the activity. (Obviously, we watched the little one carefully with these penguins since they were small choking hazards.)
See the slideshow below for photos of our meeting.
We hope your family is having a love-filled February!