Searching for Sunshine: Finding Connections with Plants, Parks, and the People Who Love Them

Princeton Architectural. Apr. 2023. 224p. ISBN 9781797222493. $25.95. SCI
With text and vibrant images, illustrator and designer Jain (Under the Cosmos) explores how a variety of people experience working with plants and how nature affects their lives and happiness. In addition to sharing her own life experiences with nature as a child in India and in New York City, where she lives now, she also interviews botanists, horticulturists, a city planner, a florist, a forager, an herbalist, a formerly incarcerated person, an entomologist, an ethnobotanist, a curator of a design museum, the CEO of an online plant-subscription service, and visitors to New York’s Union Square Greenmarket, all of whom share insights and opinions about their professional roles and nature. Jain illustrates these interviews with her own paintings, which include portraits of the interviewees and images of them at work, plus depictions of landscapes, plants, and scientific specimens, often made on location.
VERDICT A charming, fascinating look at a range of jobs and the ways people can experience nature in a city. The beautiful, vividly colored illustrations will likely appeal to nature- and art-lovers, city-dwellers interested in the outdoors, and artists.
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