From launching fashion brands to inking production deals, tennis powerhouse Serena Williams has expanded her repertoire beyond the realm of sports, and her next project will be centered on empowering youth through literature. According to People, she’s releasing a children’s book next year.
The book—titled “The Adventures of Qai Qai”—is inspired by her 4-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.’s doll. After making its debut on social media a few years ago, the beloved toy emerged into a fan favorite, leading the family to create an Instagram account for the doll in 2018 featuring imagery of her daily chronicles paired with witty captions. After Qai Qai continued to amass popularity, Williams launched a line of dolls inspired by the toy in 2020.
“The Adventures of Qai Qai” follows the story of a young girl who is battling with self-doubt before an upcoming dance recital. Qai Qai takes the youngster on a journey to help build her confidence. The book was created to help youth cultivate a sense of belief within themselves.
“Storytime is such an important pillar of our bedtime routine, like so many others around the world,” Williams said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “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 book—which was penned by Williams and included vibrant illustrations by Yesenia Moises—is slated to be released on September 27, 2022, by the children’s fiction and nonfiction literature publisher Feiwel and Friends.
Books like “The Adventures of Qai Qai” are needed as there remains a lack of representation within children’s literature. Studies show a mere 11.9 percent of protagonists in children’s books are Black.