From nonsense to lessons learned, these 45 rhymes include the very well known (Itsy Bitsy Spider) and the somewhat familiar (Hickety, Pickety, My Black Hen). The truly fantastic pictures speak more than a thousand words as artist Scott Gustafson riffs in paint on themes present and imagined in each verse. Nursery rhymes are classic, and so are some of the artist's interpretations. But other paintings are surprises, like an anthropomorphic baking bear, a pelican sea captain, and Peter Piper as a pug on two legs. Welcome to a world where "There Was a Crooked Man" is not about a hunchbacked senior but rather a madcap, double-jointed dandy who might be "crooked" in more ways than one. Jack (Be Nimble) is a leaping cricket and Yankee Doodle a fun-loving chipmunk on a fullsize horse. Scott Gustafson's unique style, influenced by legendary book illustrators Arthur Rackham and N. C. Wyeth, makes this a volume to be treasured by children and illustrated-book lovers of all ages.