Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor

The Woman Who Loved Reptiles

Written by Patricia Valdez and illustrated by Felicita Sala

I am trying to make sure that I include more nonfiction in our #classroombookaday read-aloud time and having read this book aloud last year I knew it would be a hit. I love stories about rule breakers and all the more when they are true! Narrative nonfiction is popular in our class. 

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My third graders said:

People can like different things

You will never be alone

Just be brave!

Women can be in charge of jobs.

You can be brave and do whatever you want.

It’s not just men that can do it (said by a boy, by the way).

Women have rights.

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They loved the idea of bringing a baby crocodile into math class. 

As a teacher, I appreciate books that can be read for several reasons and in this book we learned a bit more about the time period (1897-1931) and Komodo dragons in addition to learning more about Joan Procter and her myth-busting work as a herpetologist and museum curator. 

The back matter included a biography and more information about Komodo dragons and a bibliography with many sources dating from the 1920s and 1930s, which interested my students. The author has a PhD in molecular and cell biology and this was her first picture book- hopefully, there will be more to come. You can follow her on Twitter at @Patricia_Writer

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