Myra here.

Our theme for this month’s Diverse Children’s Books linkups is Favorite Children’s Books Featuring an LGBTQ Character(s). (The theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

What Is #DiverseKidLit?

Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.


We hope this community will grow into a great resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors! Our next linkup will be Saturday, December 3rd and on the first and third Saturdays of every month.

Upcoming Theme

Our theme for the current linkup is Favorite Children’s Books Featuring an LGBTQ Character(s). Themes are a suggestion only; all diverse book posts are welcome. If you’re interested, you can start planning now for our upcoming themes …

  • December 3rd linkup: Favorite Holiday Books. (Please feel free to share any holiday resources, not just winter holidays.) We will only hold 1 linkup in December, which will be open all month long.
  • January 7th and 21st linkups: Human Rights. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is celebrated in the US in January, think about your favorite books to share with children about the importance and the history of human rights and/or civil rights.

Most Clicked Post from Last Time

Our most-clicked post from last time is We Need Family for a Lifetime: November Is National Adoption Month. In addition to the previous #diversekidlit linkup, Gayle shares several great book recommendations about adoption and adoptive families. This is an important reminder about making sure that all children and all families find themselves in literature. Thanks, Gayle!


We have just launched our reading theme here at GatheringBooks for November-December – and we are celebrating fantasy and the supernatural. You’d be surprised at how difficult it is to actually find diverse titles that also happen to be fantastical in nature. As I was scouring through my bookshelves, I found this one. Hah! Absolutely perfect.


My Big Sister Can See Dragons

Written by: Rocky Sanchez Tirona
Illustrated by: Liza Flores
Published by: CANVAS, 2015
ISBN: 978-971-95878-7-3

The Philippine publisher CANVAS (Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development) simply makes the most beautiful picturebooks. It is a non-profit organization that strives to work with creatives in the community “to promote children’s literacy, explore national identity, and broaden public awareness of Philippine art, culture, and the environment.” And if you are wondering, how on earth you possibly could have access to this kind of material in your own respective countries, all you need to do is click here and you get access to the online version of this gorgeous book – at absolutely no expense to you. Yes, free online version of the book – I mean, seriously, how cool is that?


So in this book, a young girl is mighty frustrated because her big sister (who can swim better than her, draws better than her – dogs being her specialty, and can read more books than her – the thick ones without pictures) claims that she can see dragons.


Try as she might, the young girl simply can’t see the pink dragons, the grandfather dragons without teeth, even the polka-dotted ones, all seen in their gorgeous dragon glory – and invited to a fancy dragon party at their home. Big Sister provided a ‘dragon eye’ technique that consists of rolling up one’s eyeballs that would allow the dragons to surface in one’s peripheral vision.


But what alarmed this young girl is when her Big Sister cautioned her about the bad dragons who sometimes stay behind when the good ones head back home.

How will I protect us from dragons if I can’t even see them?!


It reminds me of the conundrum about our capacity to fight darkness only when it is acknowledged. As Teju Cole noted in this New York Times Magazine article:

“Evil settles into everyday life when people are unable or unwilling to recognize it. It makes its home among us when we are keen to minimize it or describe it as something else.”

But I digress painfully, my apologies. Whether or not this young girl is able to see the dragons, and what the big sister’s teeny-little-secret is, I shall leave for you to discover. I also invite you to look at the other picturebook titles available online in CANVAS’ website. I promise you won’t regret it.

#DiverseKidLit is Hosted by:

Want to be notified when the next #diversekidlit linkup goes live? Click here to join the mailing list. Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact katie at

(Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

Get #DiverseKidLit Recommendations on Pinterest!

Our Pinterest board highlights a wide range of amazing posts and resources for Diverse Children’s Books. Please consider following the board for even more great books!


Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

3 comments on “[DiverseKidLit] Seeing Dragons

  1. I love these illustrations! And I completely agree – it often seems like publishers feel that non-white characters can only appear in “diverse” books, in which the characters’ identity is the main storyline, which is so frustrating.


  2. Actually, having a character (or several?) being able to see dragons, with some being good and bad would make for a good middle grade/YA story… 🙂 Great review! 😀


  3. That is just so beautiful – I love the paper cut-out illustrations. And this definitely looks loke one to add to the dragon book collection!


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