‘The Adventures of Qai Qai’ is about the favorite doll of Serena Williams’ daughter
Serena Williams is publishing her first children’s book — and it’s about her daughter Olympia‘s prized doll that she seems to take with her everywhere.
The tennis superstar and mom announced that The Adventures of Qai Qai will be illustrated by Yesenia Moises.
This is not the first time that Qai Qai has been in the spotlight. In fact, the doll has her own Instagram page with over 350,000 followers. On the page (in which Qai Qai is listed as a motivational speaker) kids can watch short animated videos of the doll as well as see real-life pictures of 4-year-old Olympia and her lovey together.
“Storytime is such an important pillar of our bedtime routine, like so many others around the world,” Williams says in a press release about her first book. “Qai Qai is a special member of our family and we hope The Adventures of Qai Qai will give others a new way to welcome Qai Qai into their own home.”
The story of the real Qai Qai started four years ago, when Williams and her partner, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, knew that they wanted their little girl to have a Black baby doll.
“I know one thing four years ago that was really important to us was to make sure that Olympia had a Black baby doll,” Ohanian told People last fall. “And have that be a very important first doll for her, if for no other reason than to just expose her to something that can hopefully break a cycle that we know exists.”
But the doll became more than just Olympia’s favorite toy — it became a symbol of something greater.
“A lot of people have resonated with this idea of a really mischievous, and fun, and clever, and brave, and strong little girl doll,” he continues.
In 2018, the family teamed up with entertainment technology company Invisible Universe to bring the doll to life in short reels on Instagram.
The new book centers on the happy, loving relationship between Olympia and her doll while weaving in themes of friendship and the power of your imagination.
“The Adventures of Qai Qai is a story that is both practical and magical! Serena Williams’ message empowers children to believe that with confidence and imagination, you are never alone,” says Jean Feiwel, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Feiwel and Friends, in the press release.
“This book is dedicated to all little girls,” Williams writes on the dedication page according to People. “Let this book be a constant reminder that you can do anything you put your mind to. Imagine it, believe it, do it.”
The Adventures of Qai Qai will publish on September 27, 2022, by, Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.