My sons are seven years old and nine years old, and one of their most favourite things in the world is a McDonald’s Happy Meal.
I mean, I get it. Their favourite foods, the autonomy to customize their own meal, and even a little treat and/or toy to round out the experience. It makes them happy, and because I’m secure in the overall nutritional choices I make for my kids, I’m happy too. Last month, when McDonald’s Canada announced the launch of their new Happy Meal Book program, I was ecstatic. The boys are at an age where they’re starting to lose themselves in books; from time to time, I’ll expect to find one of them tucked away with an electronic device, when it reality, he’ll have his nose in a book. As a parent, and a bona fide bookworm myself, nothing could make me more proud.
And now, along with their customized Happy Meal, they also have the choice to select a book or toy. The books, which are all written and illustrated by Canadians and feature distinct Canadian content, include iconic characters such as Franklin the Turtle by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark, Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt, the beloved Life in the Wild series by Nicholas Oldland and the Dragon Safety Series from Jean E. Pendziwol and Martine Gourbault.
The books are published by Kids Can Press, the largest Canadian-owned children’s book publisher, and the recipient of the distinguished 2017 Bologna Book Prize–Children’s Publisher of the Year. Every eight weeks, two new books will be available in restaurants, in both English and French. They’re just the right skill level for children in primary and junior grades, which helps to foster not only a love of reading, but an opportunity to develop their confidence.
You can also help spread the love of reading through McDonald’s #OwnaBookGiveaBook donation initiative by posting a shelfie – a photo of book shelves – including the hashtag. One book per shelfie – up to 20,000 books – will be donated with First Book Canada, an organization that provides access to new books for children. McDonald’s will also install Little Free Libraries at Ronald McDonald Houses across the country, where books can be left or taken home.
Do your children love to read? Or, maybe they need a little encouragement? This summer, share story time together! (And maybe pinch a McNugget while they’re engrossed in the book.)
This post is sponsored by McDonald’s Canada. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.