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!

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Track Coyotes Close to Home

Read this: Yosemite's Songster: One Coyote's Story, by Ginger Wadsworth. Illustrated by Daniel San Souci. In poetic prose, Wadsworth tells the tale of a coyote separated from her mate by a rockslide in Yosemite National Park. Although the text is on the lengthy side for younger kids, beautiful watercolors by famed illustrator Daniel San Souci add warmth and interest. Children who have been to Yosemite will enjoy pointing out landmarks (Half Dome, Curry Village, the Ahwahnee, the Merced River).

Then do this: Coyotes are thriving all over the Bay Area, and early morning is the best time to spot them. In San Francisco, home to about 100 coyotes, take a stroll down Golden Gate Park’s JFK or MLK Jr. Boulevards around dawn and you’ll be almost certain to see one crossing the road. Other kid-friendly hikes that might yield a coyote sighting include the Tennessee Valley trail in Marin and the Tomales Point trail in Point Reyes.

Online: sfrecpark.org

nps.gov

nps.gov

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

—Emma smith