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“Yaa’s Book of Affirmations”

“Yaa’s Book of Affirmations”:

Author Inspires Children to Gain Confidence Through Self-Reflection


“Yaa’s Book of Affirmations”:

Author Inspires Children to Gain Confidence Through Self-Reflection




Society may be trying to transform mental health dynamics for youngsters by encouraging them to love and accept themselves as they are. However, many believe youth intervention is still a work in progress! Fittingly, author Arnell Opoku hopes her latest picture book: “Yaa’s Book Of Affirmations,” is an educational tool for children and teens lacking confidence and a deepened sense of self-worth.

Opoku shared the inspiring concepts behind this compassionate read, released last September, with Preferred Health Magazine.


“Before I graduated college, I worked with children ages six through eleven as a summer camp counselor in Virginia,” said the 26-year-old author. “I was also a coach for children throughout my undergraduate studies. Being able to talk with kids and interact with them all those years made me realize just how much of an impact adults make on shaping their brains and how they feel about themselves.”


The spiritual writer said she’d overheard many youngsters’ conversations that undermined their true abilities and confidence.

“I heard so many kids saying, ‘I can’t do this/that’ or, ‘I’m too scared to try this.’ And I had to tell them that even if you try and you fail, keep working on it until you get it.”


She also shared a disheartening experience from her coaching days. 

“I overheard one girl - who was only nine years old, saying, ‘I think I’m getting too fat; I have to go on a diet.’ I had to tell her she’s fine the way she is! I mean, she was only nine and being influenced by other factors around her when she just needed to recognize her own healthy and amazing traits and love who she was.”


Yaa’s Book of Affirmations urges children to do just that through uplifting illustrations: be conscious and confirm their distinctive qualities and acknowledgments. The 30-page book focuses on a young and creative Ghanaian girl who loves to write. She ultimately looks at herself through a different lens as she reflects. 


“Writing is a really powerful tool,” the author marveled. “Yaa’s Book is basically me speaking to my seven-year-old self. The main character has an affirmation book and routinely writes down all of the things she realizes about her inner and outer beauty. Whenever she gets sad or upset, she goes back to the journal and reads those affirmations.”


Opoku told PHM that she’d struggled with anxiety, lack of confidence in her physical image, and valuing her self-worth. Compiling this children’s book helped her heal.

“I wrote letters and prayers to help myself deal with many different time periods - including graduating college, looking for a job, and not knowing what I wanted to do. I had to manage the depression phase that a lot of post-graduates experience.”


 In 2019, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in communications and works in IT consulting. Still, her life experience, powerful interactions, and love for impacting children inspired her literary muse.


It took her several months to publish “Yaa’s Book of Affirmations,” which has religious influences and undertones. 

“I grew up Christian but didn’t identify with my spirituality personally until later in high school. I figured out at that point that I wanted to believe in and have a relationship with God. Having spiritual guidance helped boost my confidence,” she said. “Suddenly, it wasn’t what other people said or felt about me or how society viewed my growth - it was how God felt about me.

And when you’re struggling with self-confidence, and you don’t think you’re good enough, faith teaches you that God does think you’re good enough.”

Opoku always felt invisible until her affirmations provided a healthier entity and open mindset.


The most challenging part of the writing process was expressing herself meaningfully - but also in a way that a 6-year-old could comprehend.

“It took a lot of breaking down [adult] language to make it as simple as possible with the same impact. I had a lot of editing to do in order to explain in detail, for example, to a six-year-old what an affirmation truly is. Even if those affirmations aren’t written down, they’re things we should be talking about.”


She even experimented with her nieces and nephews, who didn’t know what affirmations were, and encouraged them to list traits they loved about themselves.


“The exercise really made them think about parts of themselves physically and mentally that they wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. It was a very helpful exercise that more children should be doing,” she added.


Her first book, “Dear God, Love Your Daughter: The Journey to Healing, Self-Love, and Purpose,” focused on love, praise, and her struggle with anxiety. A collective of letters to God, the interactive book, published in 2021, aims to motivate others to start their own journal and offers space in its pages for readers to reflect on their self-love journeys.


Opoku envisions a third book in her publishing future, possibly geared towards young males, teaching them to “speak life into themselves and be in tune to their feelings.”


You can order Opoku’s books online from Amazon and Barnes and Noble stores.


“Our childhood shapes our adulthood, and those words shape our reality,” she said. “There’s a little window of time we have to help shape a child’s thinking, and I hope that we as a society become a little more intentional with valuing our differences.”





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