Serena Williams has a children’s book on the way inspired by her four-year-old daughter Olympia’s favorite doll, Qai Qai.
“The Adventures of Qai Qai” is Serena’s first venture as an author in the children’s book world. Its illustrator is an Afro Latina designer named Yesenia Moises, who specializes in portraying people of diverse backgrounds as lead characters in fantasy adventure stories that are “brimming with color.”
The picture book will take readers on the journey of a child named “Baby Girl” who’s feeling a bit worried about their performance at an upcoming dance recital.
However, thanks to her best friend Qai Qai, Baby Girl learns the value of believing in both herself and her friendships — giving her the courage to get on stage.
What’s unique about the Qai Qai is that Serena initially designed the doll for Olympia, whom she shares with husband Alexis Ohanian Jr.
Instead of giving the child a white doll — which studies have proven can negatively impact Black children’s self-esteem and promote stereotypes — the couple wanted Olympia to have a toy that would represent and reinforce positive messages back to the toddler about herself.
While the physical version of Qai Qai is available for purchase so that children worldwide can have a bond like Olympia does with hers, the doll has additionally been animated by the creators at Invisible Universe, according to PEOPLE.
Since Serena started Qai Qai’s Instagram account in 2018, the doll has amassed an enormous fan base, including over 353,000 followers.
“Since realizing @RealQaiQai’s ability to spread joy to our own family and also millions of others around the world, we’ve wanted to tell her story in every way possible,” Serena shared in an Instagram post on Dec. 2. “We are so proud to announce Qai Qai’s first book, ‘The Adventures of Qai Qai,’ a story about the power of friendship and imagination. Thank you for your continued support and you can pre-order your copy with the link in my bio!”
Feiwel and Friends is publishing the book in September 2022. If you’re interested, pre-order “The Adventures of Qai Qai” here.