A children’s book inspired by a real-life story of two male penguins raising a baby chick in New York’s zoo has been deemed inappropriate by state-run Singapore libraries, and the conservative city-state’s information minister said he supports the decision to destroy all copies alongside two other titles.
The National Library Board, which runs 26 public libraries in Singapore, pulled from the shelves and said it would “pulp” the copies of three titles, citing complaints their content goes against Singapore’s family values.
The books are “And Tango Makes Three,” about a male-male penguin couple in the Central Park Zoo; “The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption,” which involves a lesbian couple; and “Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families.”
“The prevailing norms, which the overwhelming majority of Singaporeans accept, support teaching children about conventional families, but not about alternative, non-traditional families, which is what the books in question are about,” Minister of Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said Friday.
He added: “Societies are never static, and will change over time. But NLB’s approach is to reflect existing social norms, and not to challenge or seek to change them.”