Image result for joan procter dragon doctor anderson press

Published by Anderson Press.

I am ashamed to say I had never heard of Joan Procter (1897 – 1931), and only picked a copy of this up at work, when I noticed the, frankly SUPERB illustrations – they are STUNNING.

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Joan Procter was a curator at the Natural History Museum, then went on to design the Reptile House at London Zoo and to study dragons. Zoologist, herpetologist and all round brilliant naturalist – and she had a ‘thing’ for Komodo Dragons too! I would have loved to have met Joan Procter – she lived a life I’d have loved to have had.  Sadly a very short life – either way, she died before I was born, and my Dad was only one. So even if she had lived a life of four score and ten – I still wouldn’t have been able to talk to her. Never-the-less it would have been good. If there is a next world (there had better be. There are a lot of people now deceased I’d love to meet), I hope to have the chance… You never know.

The book is part of the celebration of women’s achievements that has become rather prevalent this year. This though is by far my favourite book of this new ‘genre’. The emphasis isn’t on the fact that she was a woman, but on what she did. I am beginning to feel a little jaded about so many books emphasising women’s achievements as though its a surprise that they could (and can) achieve so much. It would be good to have some balance too. This, though is not the place for this discussion. Image result for joan procter dragon

Felicita’s illustrations – are quite sublime. Exactly right for this book. The pages are not art paper, but matt – the colours are subtle and the book is exquisite. I am ordering a copy of the hardback, which I believe is still available. Why we were only sent one copy of the paper back, I will never understand. It could be sold from Picture Books, from Reference and of course it could be placed along side the Rebel Girl books.

They may have sold phenomenally well, however, this book deserves to. A really special informative and beautifully illustrated book.

Buy it.

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