What’s better than cozying up with a great book on a rainy day? How about getting outside and having a book-inspired adventure once the sun starts shining again? We’ve paired up a collection of new children’s titles by local authors with real-life, nearby adventures that you and your family can embark on, ripped straight from the stories!

For this pairing, we are spotlighting new books featuring the ever-popular (among the discerning under-eight literary critic circle) animal theme. From intrepid whales and sea lions to adorable baby bears and elephants, the stars of these picture books will keep you turning the pages, and the suggested activities will help bring the characters to life! Click through for our six recommendations for reading and adventure!

For a Whale of a Good Time

 

Read this: In Little Gray's Great Migration, by Marta Lindsey, Little Gray, a baby gray whale, must follow his mother on an epic 5000-mile migration from Mexico to the chilly but food-filled waters of the Bering Sea. But Little Gray is getting so tired, and Mama hasn’t eaten for months. Will they make it? Learn about this real-life adventure through engaging text and beautiful collage-like illustrations. Bonus: Author Marta Lindsey will be launching her book with a kids-welcome party at Green Apple Books on the Park on Saturday, February 28 at 11 a.m. Come for the reading and activities, stay for the whale cookies! RSVP at on.fb.me

1231 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA
415-742-5833
Online: greenapplebooks.com

Then do this: Spring is the time to head out to the coast and watch the parade of gray whales—often mother-and-calf pairs—cruising north. One of the best places is the stunningly-situated Point Reyes lighthouse (where author Marta Lindsey volunteered as a docent). During the busy gray whale migration period (January through April), Point Reyes National Seashore offers a shuttle on weekends to get folks to the viewing point without clogging up the roads. Buses leave every 20 minutes from the Drake’s Bay parking lot.

Online: nps.gov

Do you have any suggestions for other book-inspired local adventures? Tell us in the comments below!

—Emma smith