Heavy Words Lightly Thrown : The Reason Behind the Rhyme, by Chris Roberts.
Love love, how I love. Even though I've read it (and got it from the library) it's still on my wish list, because I want to own this, do I ever.
Basically, Roberts tells us the reasons and history behind nursery rhymes. An entertaining, easy, and interesting read. No footnotes, not a lot of sources and not overly scholarly, but it doesn't pretend to be either, he's rather upfront about the whole thing, which is refreshing. I also learned a lot about British history and even taught Dan, who holds an advanced degree in such things a minor fact or two. (Like London Bridge is really the third London Bridge). Did you know goose bumps are a symptom of STD? (Goose being slang for prostitute, and when a prostitute gives you bumps, you know it can't be good)
Mary Mary quite contrary... Bloody Mary? Mary Queen of Scots? A good case to be made for either one!
And what's with Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater keeping his wife in a pumpkin shell? Suburban hell? Guilded cage?
I highly recommend. Absolutely LOVED.