Good-bye, Coleen Salley
September 18, 2008
New Orleanian Coleen Salley wore many hats in her lifetime: storyteller, professor of children's literature, children's book author, literacy advocate. She died this week at the age of 79. I hadn't known her work until I read Epossumondas Saves the Day to a first-grade class earlier this year, and now I feel like a friend is gone. Around the I'net you'll find some reminiscences. New Orleans blogger b.rox has a photo of Salley and her krewe in a Mardi Gras parade, and A Frolic of My Own is featuring a hilarious picture, too. Elsewhere, read
Kimberly Willis Holt's Jambalaya
Deborah Wiles' One Pomegranate
I like what Betsy Groban said in the New York Times Book Review (11.17.02) about the first Epossumondas book. She wrote, "As amusing as the illustrations are, the Southern cadence of Salley's voice, best captured when the story is read aloud again and again, is what makes this regional tale a treasure."
9/24: Updated to add reminiscences by Planet Esme, The Pulpwood Queen's Book Club, and Susan Larson (book editor at the Times-Picayune)
What a loss. Love those Epossumondas books.
Posted by: Jules | September 19, 2008 at 01:05 PM
She wrote her first picture book at 72, I read.
Posted by: Susan T. | September 19, 2008 at 01:16 PM
I just heard of this great dame when I heard she was ill -- sorry to hear this, her books look so fun.
That's what I love about authors; they might leave us, but they don't take all their gorgeous books when they go.
Posted by: TadMack | September 19, 2008 at 04:01 PM
I'm sure your Mississippi accent made the reading extra special.
Posted by: Cindy T. | September 19, 2008 at 05:25 PM
I did use my Southern accent when I read to the first graders, HIF! It was fun. I hammed it up.
Posted by: Susan T. | September 22, 2008 at 06:53 PM