Smart Girl Stories
Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez is a nonfiction book that tells the inspiring story of Joan Procter – a pioneering female scientist who shattered barriers to become a major force in her field. Written for readers aged 8 to 12, this is an excellent introduction to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) for children.

Joan Procter’s life was full of incredible accomplishments. As a child she developed a deep fascination with reptiles and amphibians, which eventually led her to become Curator of Reptiles at the Natural History Museum in London.

Introducing Young Readers

Even as a girl she was breaking boundaries—she was only the second female employee ever to work at the museum! As well as introducing young readers to cutting-edge scientific research and discoveries, this book also shows that there really are no limits to what you can do if you put your mind to it.

Along with the challenge of running an animal collection while all the male staff were off fighting World War I, Joan also fought against sexism and prejudice – proving that anything is possible if you stay focused on your dreams. The compelling narrative style helps bring Joan’s amazing story to life, making it both accessible and engaging for readers who might not have much knowledge about science topics.


Vivid illustrations scattered throughout supplement the text, helping young readers visualize Joan’s world and understand her achievements more clearly. These images also serve as inspiration for aspiring scientists looking for role models from history whom they can relate to. The book stands out among other biographies because of its unique approach—children get a glimpse into a woman’s journey through life in times of significant change and struggle. There is something special about reading about someone who loved their profession enough to break through social norms to succeed – something still relevant today as we continue to advocate for greater gender equity in STEM fields.

It’s easy to see why Joan Procter has become such an inspirational figure – something this book captures perfectly! With its captivating storytelling and inspiring illustrations, this is an essential read for any child interested in learning more about the fascinating world of science.



Founder, Smart Girl, Survivor, Champion of womens rights and kids rights


Smart Girl Stories shares stories of inspiration from writers across the globe.

We ask each writer to adhere to our Smart Girl Stories pledge. The views expressed in our articles are those of the author and are meant to spark conversation and inspire you. They don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of SmartGirl Stories. We are honored to share their stories, as well as yours. To learn more – visit us here.

Follow Me

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.