Walker Books has signed a deal for two picture books from "Strictly Come Dancing" professional Oti Mabuse. The first title, Dance with Oti, will be published in summer 2021.
Executive editorial director Denise Johnstone-Burt acquired world rights for two books from Antony Read at Olivia Bell Management. Illustrator Samara Hardy was represented by Plum Pudding Illustration.
During lockdown, Mabuse provided online dance classes for children on her YouTube channel and subsequently presented CBeebies show "Oti’s Boogie Beebies". Her debut picture book, Dance with Oti, will celebrate dance, movement and expressing your feelings. The book will also teach readers a simple 10-step dance routine.
Johnstone-Burt commented: "Publishing Oti Mabuse’s first children’s book is a dream come true for me. She is an amazing talent: engineer, dancer, entertainer, and now Walker author. Oti’s warmth, passion and enthusiasm for dance shines so brightly on 'Strictly', and we all loved watching her entertain children during lockdown with 'Oti’s Boogie Beebies'. We know that she’ll move effortlessly from screen to page, inspiring children up and down the country to learn simple steps and to express themselves through dance."
Mabuse said: “I am incredibly proud and excited to be working with the team at Walker Books on my first children’s book. It has always been my passion to get children dancing: this first book is an easy way for mums and dads to get their kids moving, talking about their feelings, and hopefully just having fun. I can’t wait for you all to read it next year."
Mabuse joined BBC One's "Strictly Come Dancing" in 2015 as a professional dancer, and she is also a dance captain on BBC One's "The Greatest Dancer".