Letters standing for the vanished

abcaustn.jpgThe new, improved version of the Austin Public Library on-line catalogue is up today, just as promised. Much more is visible on the first screen after a search than before. I tested it on this Austin book, encountered during a rearrangement of the shelves. For copyright reasons, only a lettered portion of the cover is shown. Arthur’s Austin ABC / Arturo en Austin: un abecedario (written by Will Howard, illustrated by Ben Sargent, and translated by María Isabel Jofré) was written and published right here in Austin.

The summary that’s where the ISBN and Library of Congress information would usually be says: “Arthur the Armadillo explores Austin and the surrounding area. History, sightseeing, and personalities are spotlighted via the ABC’s. The ‘Arthur’s Notes’ expand the text and add other information.” Bergstrom Air Force Base is long gone, and so is the Treaty Oak. The letter “G” stands for “governor” and “Goddess of Liberty” atop the Capitol. Of course, though there’s still a governor and still a goddess, both have been replaced since publication of the book, the former multiple times. Ben Sargent’s illustration for “G” clearly includes Bill Clements.

Owning this is a little like owning a copy of Steal This Book. There used to be more copies, but now this is the only one left. This says more about the attraction of the book and its lively illustrations than it does about light-fingered visitors.

1 Comment so far

  1. ttrentham (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 5:08 pm

    I somehow missed this post and just noticed the updated catalog myself today when I went to renew a few books. Sweet.

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