22 Lessons on how to live your Best Life
By Jamia Wilson and Andrea Pippins
Published by Wide Eyed Editions ISBN: 9781786035851
Reviewed by Louise Date
Step Into Your Power is a must-have addition to bookshelves across Britain, and for many reasons. Jamia Wilson and Andrea Pippins have produced a friendly guide to being a person in the modern world, and traversing the difficulties that can prevent us from achieving our dreams. Published in time for International Women’s Day 2019, it is pitched at ‘strong females and young feminists’ but is arguably an important self-help book that could aid many people. Step Into Your Power seeks to empower us all.
In the introduction, the author and illustrator explain their reasons for creating this format, and their intentions for this to be a guide that will help by offering caring advice and activities to help with what we all want to achieve.
The book is divided up into chapters, with lessons and guides to help us in each. Each double page spread has advice and lessons that the reader can follow at home, some of which have become very useful (learning to say no is an excellent lesson for adults too). By harnessing our own hidden powers, Wilson and Pippins encourage us to ‘be you, not ‘perfect’’, ‘live and let go’ and ‘ask for help’, and it’s all underpinned with personal examples from Wilson that help to bring each piece of advice to life. There is also an entire sub-section on self-care; something that gets spoken about often but is rarely acted upon, especially in a busy lifestyle. Questions are asked of us at the end of the text elements, and there are quotes and introductions to other writers and activists to enhance the new life lessons. In the words of Maya Angelou;
‘You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.’
Pippins’ illustrations are bold, bright and eye-catching. As Wilson and Pippins have worked together before on ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ their words and illustrations work well together, with the impact of the text complemented with simple but intense images that emphasise lots of the points that they are putting to us, allowing the concept rather than the marks to shine through.
The text itself is often capitalised, sized differently and displayed against different backgrounds, a feature that makes every page feel different to one another while the style keeps it cohesive. Often this can be better in theory than in practice, but here it feels fresh and dynamic, and the colour palette has been thoughtfully curated so as to not be completely overwhelming. The leaves are kept matte to allow those flat planes of colours to carry the text, and the texture and embossing on the cover are a lovely tactile addition.
There is a little bit for everyone in this book, and it is an excellent introduction into self-development. While the text might be difficult for younger children, the activities could be reasonably introduced to lessons at home or at school, and looking after yourself is certainly a valuable skill to grasp. From defining yourself, to asking for help or dealing with illness, Step Into Your Power is there to help.