In 2008, the world lost a great ambassador for children's literature. While we will miss Coleen's southern drawl and wit, she has left in her wake hundreds of people who love reading books, many authors and illustrators who she tirelessly promoted and librarians who remain dedicated to children's literature due to her influence. To quote Ms. Salley on her passion for children's literature:
Fortunately for us, Coleen leaves behind many wonderful nuggets of her life. First of all there are her books. At the youthful age of 72, Mrs. Salley published her first children's book "Who's That Tripping Over My Bridge?" illustrated by Amy Dixon (Pelican Publishing). Shortly thereafter we were introduced to the hilarious character in the award winning book "Epossumondas", illustrated by Janet Stevens (Harcourt Inc.). Epossumondas tales continue to delight everyone in "Why Epossumondas Has No Hair On His Tail" and "Epossumondas Saves The Day." And the final Epossumondas tale "Epossumondas Plays Possum" which was published posthumously in September 2009.
Then there was Coleen Salley, the storyteller who made books come alive for everyone within earshot. The publisher captured Coleen reading the first 3 Epossmondas tales and you can receive, from the Coleen Salley Estate, a complimentary copy while supplies last. Click here for details. Coleen was a lover of Louisiana culture and Christmas. Nothing embodies that more than the story "Cajun Night Before Christmas" by James Rice (Pelican Publishing). It was one of Coleen's favorite holiday stories. Click here to purchase the CD of Coleen reading both the Cajun Night Before and After Christmas.
And then there is the Coleen Salley, first rate promoter of children's literacy. After her death, the University of Southern Mississippi has established the Coleen Salley Endowment Fund intended to fund and promote storytelling during the annual Book Festival, a festival that Coleen attended for almost 40 years.
The many faces of Coleen Salley do not end here of course. There's the scholar, Queen of her own Mardi Gras krewe, lover of everything Christmas, world traveler and more. Click here to learn about Coleen, who packed the equivalent of 150 years into 79!