Bookseller's Query Brings Children's Classic Back Into Print

Liza Bernard, co-owner of the Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, Vt., "has an abiding interest in works that deserve to be in print, as does longtime publisher David R. Godine," Valley News reported in recounting the story of how one such work has found new life.

"We have this standing conversation about wonderful little gems that go out of print," Bernard said, though until recently she had never found one to recommend to Godine.

Two years ago, however, Anne Fadiman read at the bookstore from The Wine Lover's Daughter, a memoir about her father, Clifton Fadiman. During the reading, a patron asked why her favorite book by Clifton Fadiman--Wally the Wordworm, published in 1964--wasn't in print.

"The next morning, I zipped David an e-mail and I said, 'OK, I've got a project for you,' " Bernard recalled.

The rest is OP history. Valley News noted that in a typewritten note attached to a copy of the book it subsequently received, Godine wrote: "Liza instructed me to reissue it, and since I always do what she tells me, we... brought Wally back to life.”

"This isn't a book for all children," Anne Fadiman said, "but for a certain kind of nerdy, word-loving child."

Noting that Fadiman has read from the book in only a few places, including in Norwich, Valley News wrote: "If this story says anything about books and reading, it's about how they forge bonds among people who care about writing and literacy, and about the history of those things."

"One of the things that people do when they're working with people is you make connections," Bernard said. "I'm quite proud of this connection."

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