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Um, is there anything the amazing Serena Williams can’t do? Because we can’t really think of anything. She’s a mom, a tennis legend, a business powerhouse, a venture capitalist, an assistant soccer coach, and oh yeah — now she can add children’s book author to that list. Her first kids’ book, The Adventures of Qai Qai, released this week, and it is already an Amazon #1 bestseller. Are we surprised? It’s Serena Williams we’re talking about, after all, and she doesn’t do anything halfway.
Williams first announced the book’s impending arrival back in December, and it’s inspired by the sweetest thing: Williams’ daughter Olympia’s real life doll, Qai Qai. When Olympia was gifted the doll by her parents, Williams and husband Alexis Ohanian, they became inseparable besties. Their adorable relationship even garnered Qai Qai her very own Instagram account! Ah, the life of a celebrity doll.
A post shared by Qai Qai (@realqaiqai)
“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 in September. He also went on to say, “Very quickly we started to see this story play out online of people who were just so enamored with this doll and were really excited to hear about the stories and adventures she was going to go on.”
Naturally, this lent itself very well to a children’s book — and The Adventures of Qai Qai does not disappoint. It’s a tale of a little girl who is very nervous about her upcoming dance recital, until her best friend Qai Qai comes to life and helps boost her confidence (because everyone needs a hype man — er, doll — right?!). Kirkus Reviews calls the story a “lively, encouraging tale of self-belief and friendship.” And of the vivid pictures by Afro-Latina artist Yesenia Moises, Booklist says, “Filled with richly colored illustrations that see a preponderance of velvety purples and pinks, this book will particularly catch the eye of dancers and the Fancy Nancy set.”
Williams herself said in a statement that storytime was a huge part of their bedtime routine with Olympia, adding, “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.”
And if you want to really welcome Qai Qai into your home, you can snag your very own Qai Qai doll
to snuggle as you read along with the adventures! She stands on her own, and is wearing the cutest removable tutu. But the best part? She’s almost SIXTY PERCENT OFF right now, putting her at under $20!
Serena Williams is simply awe-inspiring, as a professional, as an athlete, and as a mother — so it’s no wonder that her latest undertaking is such a grand slam.
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