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The authors of an award-winning children’s book that is nearly 20 years old, and a group of students, are suing a Florida school district and the state’s board of education over its decision to pull And Tango Makes Three from libraries in the state’s Lake Country district.

The book, by Justine Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole, was first published by Simon & Schuster in 2005 and is based on the true story of pair of male penguins at the Central Park Zoo, Roy and Silo, who incubated and hatched a baby chick. Zookeepers named the chick Tango. The book’s authors — Parnell, a writer, and Richardson, a psychiatrist — wrote the story after reading about the real-life Roy and Silo in a New York Times article which described them as two chinstrap penguins who were “completely devoted to each other.”

Parents and residents apparently complained because of the book’s depiction of same-sex parents.  The lawsuit argues that “the book is factually accurate, non-vulgar and non-obscene; that the book has previously stood on school library shelves; and that Tango was restricted for “illegitimate, narrowly partisan and political reasons.”

Sherri Owens, a spokeswoman for the Lake County school district, said that the district could not comment on pending litigation.  She told the New York Times: “We removed access to And Tango Makes Three for our kindergarten through third-grade students in alignment with Florida House Bill 1557, which at the time prohibited classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity for those grade levels.”

Every week seems to bring a new book ban in the US.  According to free speech body PEN America, from July to December 2022, there were 1,477 cases of books being removed from libraries, up from 1,149 during the previous six months. Since the organization began tracking bans in July 2021, it has counted more than 4,000 instances of book removals using news reports, public records requests and publicly available data.