"Peter Spier's Italian sketchbook" is accompanied by an assortment of nursery rhymes having to do with flowers, birds, fountains, barnyard animals--all the accoutrements of a cultivated landscape. However, the pictures have very little to do with the text (or vice versa): Mistress Mary's garden doesn't grow silver bells or cockleshells or anything approximating them; the "basket of sweet flowers" that's the kernel of "This is the key to the Kingdom" is a cluster of tiny pen strokes (in a black-and-white vignette after pages of full-color cityscapes). The rhymes that are really maxims make the least sense of all: "A hedge between keeps friendship green" shows two children in a formal garden filled with hedges--and between them the chief impediment (which they look as if they'd like to leap) is a pool of water. The terminal notes identify the scenes quite precisely ("their trip really begins on the title page when they pass through the tree tunnel of the Villa Petraia in Fiesole. . . "). If the notes accompanied the pictures, Peter Spier's Italian sketchbook would be a sparkling memento of old Tuscany.