Naomi Osaka Announces Release of First Children’s Book

She hopes “The Way Champs Play” will inspire kids to chase their dreams.
Naomi Osaka attends Citi Taste Of Tennis New York at Cipriani 42nd Street in NYC.

Naomi Osaka attends Citi Taste Of Tennis New York at Cipriani 42nd Street in NYC.

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka is releasing her first children’s book. She’s joining the recent trend of other big-name athletes—like Serena Williams and Steph Curry—in publishing picture books for kids.

“So excited to finally announce the release of my first children’s book, The Way Champs Play. It’s the first publishing project under my production company @hanakuma,” she wrote on Instagram earlier this week. “I hope this book inspires kids to chase their dreams and encourages them to believe they can do anything they put their minds to.” 

The 2021 SI Swimsuit cover model added, “This book holds an extra special place in my heart as a portion of the proceeds will go to my foundation @playacademynaomi which works to support young girls in sport.”

The Way Champs Play, published by Osaka’s own production company Hana Kuma in conjunction with HarperCollins Publishers, officially releases on Dec. 6. Fans can pre-order and submit a receipt to get a signed bookplate. A portion of the proceeds go toward her Play Academy foundation, which aims to “level the playing field by changing the game for girls through play and sport.”

According to the HarperCollins website, this is “a picture book celebrating all the ways that champs play. Whether they are practicing patience as they swim, or teamwork as they dribble a ball, the girls at Play Academy know that playing a sport is super fun!”

This spring Osaka—who has partnerships with more than 20 companies—was ranked as the highest-paid female athlete in the world by Forbes. In May, she left IMG to start her own sports agency, EVOLVE. The new agency, co-founded by agent Stuart Duguid, signed its first client, Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios, a month later.

Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.