Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor

written by Patricia Valdez and illustrated by Felicita Sala


As a child, Joan Procter was given a crocodile as a birthday present! This is the true story of how she grew up to become an important reptile expert, even though most scientists at that time were men. The book explains how she designed the Reptile House at London Zoo and became well known for her brave work with Komodo dragons.

Why we think you should read this book

  • It shows that both girls and boys can be great scientists.
  • You can learn what a herpetologist does.
  • There are lots of interesting facts about Komodo dragons.
  • It will inspire you to work hard, be resilient and follow your dreams. Even though Joan was quite ill for most of her short life, she never gave up caring for animals.
  • The illustrations are really interesting with lots of detail.

Questions we would ask the author

  • Why did you want to write about Joan Procter?
  • How did you learn so much about Joan Procter when you weren’t able to speak to her?
  • How did Joan know how to do operations on reptiles when she wasn’t a vet?

About Our Class

Where we areWe are Class 9, a year 2 class at Lydgate Infant School in Sheffield.

We love reading!