Over the festive period we were all captivated by the choreography by Oti Mabuse and Bill Bailey during Strictly Come Dancing and with Oti’s debut book, we all have a chance to learn some moves to take to the ballroom. Well, certainly “The Bird Jive,” which is a dance that is suitable for young ones to learn alongside their parents. Slides, twists and flapping hands all feature so prepare to get physical with these wonderful new picture book with vibrant illustration from Samara Hardy.
Otile Mabuse is a dancer who was born in Pretoria in South Africa; she began dancing in South Africa but later moved to Germany. Her dancing accolades include being a World European Latin semi-finalist and World Cup Championship semi-finalist. She was also the South African Latin American Champion on eight occasions, and as aforementioned we know her best from Strictly Come Dancing. Samara Hardy is an experienced freelance illustrator and designer who creates artwork for greetings cards, stationery, homewares as well as children’s books. With a highly commended for the 2013 Macmillan Children’s Picture Book Prize it’s easy to see why Walker went with this visual storyteller, also known for her work on Don’t Wake The Dragon and Amara’s Farm (which is published later in the year).
With Dance With Oti, it’s all very simple! It’s time for Oti’s dance class! Whoever reads this can opt to join Oti in her dance studio and learn “The Bird Jive” in ten easy steps. There are lots of children in Oti’s dance class – and lots of feelings, too. Fikile has her sparkly new shoes and Naira is SUPER excited to get started! Gan is feeling a little worried about joining in whilst Martin can’t wait to show his parents what he can do! But in the middle of their dance routine, an unexpected visitor disrupts the class. However, with help from Oti they are soon back on track, getting ready for the performance of their lives.
Written by Strictly Come Dancing superstar Oti Mabuse, this debut picture book will be loved and enjoyed by families who have loved watching Oti on-screen. Both adults and kids can join in with the steps in the book, making for not only a good read but also a great work out. And Samara’s visual artwork adds the vibrancy to the characters and the movements, enhancing the storytelling at play.
Dance With Oti is available now, published by Walker Books
Images courtesy of Walker Books, who have published Dance With Oti by Oti Mabuse and Samara Hardy