Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor by Patricia Valdez

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: the Woman Who Love d Reptiles
Patricia Valdez; Illustrated by Felicita Sala
Knopf. 2018
ISBN: 9780399557255

Joan Proctor (1897-1931), loved reptiles: lizards, snakes, and crocodiles.  In Valdez’s picture book biography, readers follow Procter’s interesting life. She was hired as curator at London’s Natural History Museum and became director of the Reptile House at the London Zoo. While at the Zoo, Procter was instrumental in upgrading the outdated Reptile House. “She cared for each and every creature in the Reptile House. From daily health checks to delicate surgeries, her dedication and talent could not be matched.”

Sala’s brightly colored illustrations are beautiful and are a perfect complement to Valdez narrative.

Back matter includes a lengthy author’s note and bibliography.

The other day, while at one of the primary schools promoting summer reading, Joan Proctor, Dragon Doctor was on display in one of the classrooms. When asked, the class of First Graders gave the book high fives.
“Love the pictures.”
“She was an interesting woman.”
“I’d like a Komodo dragon as a pet too.”

I used a copy from the my local public library to write this review