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Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles
Is this book about a real woman in STEAM?
For fans of Ada Twist: Scientist comes a fascinating picture book biography of a pioneering female scientist--who loved reptiles!
Back in the days of long skirts and afternoon teas, young Joan Procter entertained the most unusual party guests: slithery and scaly ones, who turned over teacups and crawled past the crumpets.... While other girls played with dolls, Joan preferred the company of reptiles. She carried her favorite lizard with her everywhere--she even brought a crocodile to school!
When Joan grew older, she became the Curator of Reptiles at the British Museum. She went on to design the Reptile House at the London Zoo, including a home for the rumored-to-be-vicious komodo dragons. There, just like when she was a little girl, Joan hosted children's tea parties--with her komodo dragon as the guest of honor.
With a lively text and vibrant illustrations, scientist and writer Patricia Valdez and illustrator Felicita Sala bring to life Joan Procter's inspiring story of passion and determination.
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year selection
Knopf Books for Young Readers
5 - 9 years
Girls Love STEAM Review:
Additional Reader & Professional Reviews:
K-Gr 3—Joan Procter, the subject of this biographical picture book, was an internationally recognized herpetologist in the early 20th century and the curator of reptiles at the British Natural History Museum. This excellent biography presents an inspirational story of a smart, dedicated female scientist. It will be an important addition to the list of newer books for children featuring the work of women in STEM fields. The story adroitly communicates Procter's determination, curiosity, and complete fascination with reptiles. Throughout the text there are many opportunities for vocabulary building, especially in regards to reptiles. Sala's vibrant artwork perfectly complements the narrative. A variety of techniques in backgrounds, word placements, and the use of black silhouettes provide depth to the pages and present readers with a variety of viewpoints. The ever-present reptiles will be the star attraction for most children, but the colorful tropical plants add atmosphere and really evoke the Reptile House. Following the story, the author includes additional biographical information on Procter, scientific details on Komodo Dragons, and a bibliography with primary and secondary sources. VERDICT An inspirational biography with exciting depictions of a variety of reptiles, including a pet Komodo dragon, that will keep any child interested—whether reading on their own or with a group. A first purchase for most libraries.
-- Theresa Muraski, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Library - School Library Journal
"Whimsical artwork and an empowering story make this biography of a lesser-known woman scientist truly charming."
"An inspirational biography with exciting depictions of a variety of reptiles, including a pet Komodo dragon, that will keep any child interested—whether reading on their own or with a group."
--School Library Journal
"Valdez paints a portrait of a unique woman whose love for reptiles developed into a gratifying career."
-- Publishers Weekly
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For ages 12 and under
Parent Permission Required
For ages 13-17
For ages 18 & Above