Coleen Salley, a remarkable woman, passed away yesterday. While I cannot claim a personal relationship with Coleen I did meet her a few times. The most memorable occasion was many years ago when she hosted a party at her home in New Orleans during an IRA convention. Her home was a wonderful French Quarter place — I remember charming rooms off a lovely center courtyard. But it was Colleen I most remember — she was so vibrant and so striking. Being at that party at her home made me feel as if I were in a New Orleans novel or movie or play. It was unlike any such party I’ve ever been to before or since. Every time I saw her after that or read one of her books or her heard about her I thought back to that first meeting. Many others on list serves, blogs, and elsewhere have, are, and will post far more comprehensive remembrances than my puny ones. But all of us will agree that the world of children’s literature has lost one of the great ones.