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!

See the World Through a Bear’s Eyes


Read this: In Baby Bear Sees Blue, by Ashley Wolff, Baby Bear explores the world outside his cave for the first time, and children will be dazzled by nature’s colors right alongside him. With very simple text and Ashley Wolff’s lovely linoleum block illustrations, this is an exceptional choice for toddlers and preschoolers. Also check out its follow-up, Baby Bear Counts One.

Then do this: Regulars know that the most exciting time of the day at the San Francisco Zoo is 11:30 a.m., feeding time for the two sister grizzlies, Kachina and Kiona. Arrive a few minutes early to secure a viewing spot right by the glass windows that look into their pond. You’ll find yourself nose-to-nose with the beautiful bears as they hunt for live fish. It’s a spectacular experience your kiddos won’t forget.

Sloat Blvd. at the Great Highway
San Francisco, CA
Online: www.sfzoo.org


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

—Emma smith