|Adventures of Qai Qai|
Author: Williams, Serena
A little girl learns to believe in herself with the help of her doll and best friend, Qai Qai.
Kirkus Reviews (07/15/22)
School Library Journal (07/22/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 07/22/2022 PreS-Gr 2—The tennis champ's first book features a small Black ballerina is an upbeat if simplistic look at the road to success. In Moises's bright, lively cartoon-style artwork, Baby Girl's ebullient hair puffs cloudlike around her head as she dances through her house (often en pointe—in fact, famously dangerous for young beginners' bones). Before a live performance she fears forgetting the steps, and turns for support to her doll, based on Williams's real-life daughter's doll, Qai Qai. In response to Baby Girl's belief in her, Qai Qai comes to life, directing her to raid Mama's closet; they visit the theatre, where Qai Qai urges: "Trust your instincts." Her parents also boost her confidence. She wants Qai Qai to come on stage with her, but the doll assures her that being always with her in spirit is "how best friends work." "I believe in myself," Baby Girl says, and her parents report that her performance (not illustrated) was amazing. As in Peter Pan, believing produces success: no learning, practicing, coaching, patience, discipline, etc., required. VERDICT Technical quibbles aside, the positive message will resonate with many, and the frilly outfits in neon pink and lavender will win others.—Patricia Lothrop - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2022 Confident in her pink pointe shoes, Baby Girl dances around her mama (who is Black), waltzes with her daddy (who is white), and twirls her tutu-wearing doll Qai Qai, who also happens to be Baby Girl’s “best friend and biggest fan.” Despite Baby Girl’s talent and enthusiasm, she grows nervous as her dance recital approaches. The night before the big day, she confides her fears to Qai Qai, who (after a sprinkle of stardust) comes to life! Bursting with sass and positivity, Qai Qai helps Baby Girl recover her self-confidence in an entertaining late-night adventure. After an amazing performance the next day, Baby Girl is thrilled and Qai Qai is right there to remind her bestie that she can do anything in this world. Tennis star Williams shows that her talents aren’t limited to the court in this uplifting story of girlhood, family love, and magic. 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. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.