Choose Your Days by Paula Wallace
Choose Your Days is so many good and meaningful things. But most of all, it’s a gift.
When Corky is born, Old Bear –bespectacled, wise, never far – appears by her side. As the “keeper of time and keys,” he tells her, “Choose your days, make them sunny or gray.” Echoing his advice, Corky cycles through her life – literally – moving (and maturing) from tricycle to bike, until she’s a bit stooped over, but still whooshing on two wheels. Nearing the end, she asks “for a bit more of time” from Old Bear, “For work undone. For play postponed. For music unsung.” Old Bear reminds her that she “hold[s] the key,” the one he presented her at birth, the one that gave her full agency in how she chose to fill her days. So in the time she has left, Corky continues her adventures until she finally stands before the welcome mat that gently reminds, “Do not be afraid” …
In her “Artist’s Statement” that accompanied the book from spirited Texan indie publisher Cinco Puntos Press, creator Paula Wallace reveals the genesis of her simple, powerful book – of how she responded to a friend’s sudden loss through painting, how much that process helped her accept losing her own Corky, how she eventually created a 30-piece series “with a narrative of their own.” Visitors responded with their tears – and even more so with their hearts. That her creation would become a book was inevitable, first as a limited gallery edition, and now easily accessible and available as a gift for all.
Don’t let that back label of “Children’s Fiction” fool you … “sunny or gray” is an everyday choice for every one of us. In the time we have left before that “door of wonder” beckons, how will we fill our lists of dreams, which ‘to-do’s will we have checked off? Choose your days – with curiosity and joy, with caring and understanding, with daring and courage, too.