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
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."