Title: Dance with Oti: The Bird Jive
Author: Oti Mabuse
Illustrator: Samara Hardy
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Hardback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  Learn to dance with Oti Mabuse!
Get your dancing shoes on and make some space – let’s learn the BRID JIVE!  With 10 easy-to-follow dance steps, join the class and dance yourself happy with Oti Mabuse and friends.
Written by “Strictly Come Dancing” superstar Oti Mabuse, this book includes and online dance tutorial performed by Oti herself and an original song by Thomas Sutcliffe.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such a fun picture book which can help teach children to dance The Bird Jive! All of the children are lined up outside of Mrs Oti’s class. When they start the class, Mrs Oti teaches them step by step the different moves of the dance. Some of the children end up struggling but Mrs Oti’s class is so fun that none of them is upset or worried for long. ‘Dance with Oti’ is a little bigger than A4 in size and is a hardback that’s filled with thick glossy pages of colourful illustrations and text. The book’s cover features some lovely glittery parts too.

Dance with Oti The Bird Jive close up of book cover
©The Strawberry Post – A close up of that gllittery cover!

As the children start to learn the steps to dance The Bird Jive, some of them make mistakes, however the class is full of fun and happiness as Mrs Oti shows the kids that it’s ok to make mistakes and gets them back into enjoying the dancing. Throughout the pages Mrs Oti is shown giving the steps for how to dance the Bird Jive with clear and simple instructions that children reading the book can follow and do. I like how these instructions are mixed in among a story of the different children learning the dance and some of the experiences they have are ones that children reading the book might feel when the first try to dance.

Dance with Oti The Bird Jive book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

There ‘s a nice and fun ending and at the end of the story there is a double page showing all of the moves to perform the Bird Jive so children can learn all the dance moves without having to turn back through the story. The illustrations are really fun with some lovely bright colours and I love how engaging they are and how expressive all of the class looks. I especially like the last pages that feature some of the parents of the children taking the dance class. The dance moves are illustrated well and there is some interesting brief text at the end of the book explaining where the Bird Jive first originated.

Dance with Oti The Bird Jive book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

I do think this is a fun book. While the story is very simple and fun, it’s the book’s dance moves that make this so appealing. The fact that children can learn to dance the Bird Jive and then perform it for their own parents just makes this seem like such a fun book, and with a professional (and famous) dancer Oti Mabuse having written it, it makes for a great read! I hope there might be more dances for kids to learn in future books.


What do you think of this book?  Did you know how to dance The Bird Jive?  Do your children or you enjoy dancing?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂