• Picture Book Snob

The rhythm of life is a powerful beat

Zawadi Likes to Dance by Varaidzo Owuyo and Sasha Richards

Zawadi Likes to Dance by Varaidzo Owuyo and Sasha Richards

Zawadi Likes to Dance is a gorgeous celebration of a little girl's creative expression. Through a cheerful rhyming text, we are introduced to Zawadi and her daily routine. We meet Zawadi's family and friends, and are shown the vital role of music and dancing in her life. Zawadi moves to a powerful rhythm, finding fun and spreading joy wherever she goes.

Zawadi Likes to Dance by Varaidzo Owuyo and Sasha Richards

The illustrations are adorable and take readers into Zawadi's world with incredible energy. It's challenging to communicate music and movement through images, but illustrator Sasha Richards handles this expertly. There's a striking colour palette and an interesting use of pattern and lettering.

I love all the cute background details like the fridge magnets and Zawadi's stuffed bunny. The bunny is always involved in whatever is happening and it's fun to see what it is up to on every page.

Zawadi Likes to Dance by Varaidzo Owuyo and Sasha Richards

At a time when there is a lack of diversity in children's literature, it's fantastic to see a Black main protagonist and lots of other ethnicities too. Children in wheelchairs are also represented. Zawadi is charming character to whom little readers will relate and her happiness radiates from every page. As Zawadi is tucked up in bed in the final scene, this story is ideal for winding down at the end of a busy day.

Zawadi Likes to Dance by Varaidzo Owuyo and Sasha Richards

About the author:

Varaidzo Owuyo loves to write whimsical, light-hearted stories for children, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusivity.


About the illustrator: Sasha Richards is a children's and editorial illustrator with a background in fashion and a passion for cute stories, fun adventures and bright colours.

Zawadi Likes to Dance by Varaidzo Owuyo and Sasha Richards
My favourite spread - I love the use of colour and pattern, and the dreamy clouds and stars

Zawadi Likes to Dance is available in paperback and an ebook from from Amazon - view this book on the Amazon website


A huge thank you to the author and illustrator for the complimentary digital copy of this book I received in exchange for an honest review - all opinions expressed are my own.