Perhaps instead of pilfering Italy's greatest treasures, the Getty should have followed the aphorism regarding babies and candy. Some of the most unique, quirky and even haunting art can be found in a place many of us haven't looked for years – not in your bottom dresser drawer, but in children's books.

A sojourn to Borders seems the obvious remedy, but we live in a city where a trip anywhere is a traffic/parking/validated-ticket task. For those suffering from pulpuslacerataphobia (fear of paper cuts,) there is, apropos of children's books, a simpler way.

Storyopolis touts itself as “a unique art gallery and bookstore that showcases the best in storybook illustration and editorial art.” It plays, however, as the school library you wish you had. There are daily storybook readings, weekly sing-a-longs and monthly art exhibitions. And if someone tells you “It's for children,” just remind them, as I do at the Grove when purchasing tickets, that no matter what my age, I am somebody's child.

Dec. 9 brings the work of Joe Rocco and David Goldin to the Storyopolis. Rocco's signature style – seen in Visa ads and the books Snow Inside The House and Halloween Hotel – is uneven eyes, disproportionate body-to-face ratios and a strong distaste for straight lines. His most charming offering at the current exhibition is “Book Hospital,” where various hardbound EMTs attempt to rescue a poor condition comrade ( Death of a Salesman ).

Goldin's claim to pre-pubescent fame is the book Go, Go, Go! about a biker who, despite clinging elephants, turtles, hot-dog carts and a marching band, attempts to win a race. His art has a polished doodle-quality to it, with lots of squiggly lines keeping it constantly kinetic.

Having this much fun at a gallery is like stealing candy from a baby.

Storyopolis is located at 12348 Ventura Blvd., in Studio City. For more information, call (818) 509-5600 or visit