Wally the Wordworm

Help instill a love of words and language and an early appreciation for their vast possibilities with this read aloud for children. A worm that lives on words, Wally finds himself starved for inspiration, until one day, he crawls into a magical book: the dictionary. From that moment, he embarks upon a logomaniacal odyssey of epic proportions, twisting himself into the likes of “syzygy” and “sesquipedalian,” “pyx” and “zymurgy.”

From its first publication in 1964, children and adults alike have been delighted by Wally’s wriggling through rhymes and words of increasing ambition and complexity, his acrobatics whimsically illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist Arnold Roth. This edition includes an afterword by Clifton Fadiman’s daughter, the author Anne Fadiman.

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Clifton Fadiman was a distinguished American intellectual, author, editor, and radio and television personality. Over the course of his career, he was the editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster, the book critic of The New Yorker, and the host of the popular radio program Information Please. He wrote three essay collections; co-authored The New Lifetime Reading Plan (1997); and edited many books, including The World Treasury of Children’s Literature (1984) and The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes (1985). He spent more than half a century on the editorial board of the Book-of-the-Month Club, serving longer than any other judge in its history. In 1993, Fadiman received the National Book Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Arnold Roth is an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator whose work has been featured in Playboy, Esquire, and The New Yorker. A contributor to Punch for thirty years, he has published numerous books. His illustrations are in the permanent collections of a number of museums, including the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum & Research Library at Ohio State University and the Cartoon Museum in London.

Anne Fadiman is an essayist and journalist. Her most recent book is The Wine Lover’s Daughter, a memoir about her father, Clifton Fadiman.