Books take us on adventures that help our imaginations soar beyond our everyday lives. With Earth Day coming up on April 22, it’s the perfect time to teach kids about loving the planet and reminding them that they can take care of Mother Earth in so many ways. What better gift for your kiddo this Earth Day than a book that teaches them to be stewards for mother nature and empowers them to make a difference with their small hands every day? We’ve found heartwarming fiction and nonfiction gems paired up with real-life outings to help you explore nature with your kids. Click through the slideshow for a fun exploration, where reading and adventure go side by side.

Catch a Butterfly

Read this: A Butterfly is Patient by Diana Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long

Packed full of science facts, beautiful watercolor illustrations compliment poetic, precise words that mirror the beauty and wonder of iridescent, fragile butterflies. This is not just a simple metamorphosis story. Readers and their parents will learn interesting new facts about butterflies to help better appreciate these important pollinators. Did you know monarch butterflies travel 20 miles per hour while migrating from Canada to Mexico each year?

Do This: Visit butterflies from all over the world at The San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Butterfly Jungle through April 10. Or check out the lesser-known Butterfly Pavilion at the Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon, which hosts colorful Southern Californian butterflies enjoying the flowers of drought tolerant natives. The exhibit is open May 14 to July 31.

Extra Credit: Help preserve the monarchs and their extraordinary migration by planting milkweed, the only food source for monarch caterpillars. Click here to learn more.

Photo: The Water Conservation Garden

What’s your favorite book that celebrates the earth? Do you have fun activities you do as a family?

— Cherie Gough