The artwork in children’s books works wonders in bringing stories to life, especially for little ones who aren’t old enough to read just yet.       

Take in the fun and whimsy of kids’ book art at Cheekwood with its new exhibit opening on Saturday, June 22. Childhood Classics: 100 Years of Children’s Book Illustrations features more than 140 original works from more than 75 beloved books. The history starts at the turn of the 20th century with Sarah Noble Ives’ pen-and-ink Mother Goose art and brings visitors into popular works of today, including the digital creations of Mo Willems.

Among the illustrations you’ll see are the original art of Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak’s iconic Wild Things and Garth Williams’ heroic Stuart Little. You’ll also view the handiwork of other classic illustrators, including Rosemary Wells, Richard Scarry, Chris Van Allsburg and Hilary Knight.

Additional characters on display include The Cat in the Hat, Madeline, Eloise, Babar, Dick & Jane, and others.

After you experience the illustrations in the Museum of Art, head outside for further inspiration and have fun exploring the Storybook Houses exhibit featuring five play structures with themes from five popular children’s illustrators. Children’s Classics and Storybook Houses run through Sunday, Sept. 1.

Storybook Houses is open now. Read Nashville Parent Mom Reporter Ginessa Pikes' review.

Cheekwood is located at 1200 Forrest Park Drive, Nashville. Hours are Tue - Sun 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is $20 adults, $13 ages 3 - 17. Call 615-356-8000 or visit cheekwood.org.