This exquisite book celebrates California’s native wildflowers for what they are: works of art, honed over millennia, with the same right to exist as everything else. The first step toward conservation is education, and the respectful work presented here is a fine start. In the end, it boils down to this: how diminished our world would be without flowering plants, and how foolish we all would be to allow even a single one to slip away. After all, when we save other species, we’re actually saving ourselves.
—Joel Sartore, National Geographic photographer and founder of the Photo Ark
Rob and Nita’s passion for the flowered world allows us to look more closely, see more deeply into the beauty of the lands we walk.
--- Terry Tempest Williams, author
It is a beautiful and inspiring book and reading it really lifted my spirits. I have been wondering whether to say it is one of the most beautiful books I have or the most beautiful book I have. It’s the latter. The photography is wonderful but what really makes the book so special and goes so far beyond some other books that showcase the beauty of plants is the writing that goes with it. That comes from such a good spread of people and perspectives and manages the perfect balancing act between properly acknowledging the threats and pointing towards solutions. Books that do that are far fewer in number than those that just remind us of the trouble we are in (leaving the reader more despondent than they were to begin with). Those that offer solutions, often do so from a very specific standpoint arguing that one solution will work and others won’t when the reality is much more complex, as Beauty and the Beast shows in its various essays. The package of ideas in words and images is beautiful and compelling.
—Stephen Blackmore, the Queen's Botanist
Beauty and the Beast arrives as potent medicine for our souls. Marrying art and science while lifting a chorus of diverse voices, this beautiful book will inspire and move you toward greater action on behalf of life itself. As we face climate and extinction crises, this book will buoy your heart and offer an updraft under your wings.
—Nina Simons, author and cofounder of Bioneers
Our only long-term hope is to live in harmony with the natural world that sustains us. There simply is no other option. If the beauty and wisdom documented in this extraordinary book do not inspire us and guide us to find new ways to do this, nothing will!
—Doug Tallamy, professor of entomology, University of Delaware, and author of Bring Nature Home
Nita and Rob’s portrait of California’s wondrous plant diversity is gorgeous and eye opening. This book will encourage love for this planet’s magnificent and diverse living species and a desire to fight to save life on Earth.
—Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity
This book brings the beauty and awe of California’s diverse natural landscapes into our homes and inspires us to play a role in caring for these magical places. Together, one step at a time, we can meet the pace and scale of the challenges of our changing environment. We can all have hope. We can all take action.
—Sharon Farrell, executive vice president, projects, stewardship, and science, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy