Would You like a Book With That Happy Meal™?

June 16, 2017

McDonald’s Canada is now offering Canadian books with the purchase of a Happy Meal™.

As of May 16th, the world’s largest and most recognized quick service restaurant chain has been offering children (or adults—we won’t judge) the option of a book as their Happy Meal prize. Children have two books to choose from, with the selection changing every two months.

Have no fear, Happy Meal toys are still available. But this represents a great opportunity to encourage kids to read for fun.

The initiative is a joint effort with children’s publisher, Kids Can Press. All the books involved are Canadian, including some amazing titles and authors: Franklin the Turtle by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark, Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt, Life in the Wild (series) by Nicholas Oldland, and the Dragon Safety series from Jean E. Pendziwol and Martine Gourbault.

This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has offered books as a Happy Meal prize option. In 2016 they ran a similar, highly successful, two-week campaign in the United States, which helped inform this permanent program in the Canadian market.

McDonald’s also created a charitable initiative called #OwnABookGiveABook, in which the restaurant asks readers to take “shelfies” of their home libraries and post them on social media channels, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

For every use of the #OwnABookGiveABook hashtag (up to 20,000), McDonald’s is donating a book to the First Book Canada organization, dedicated to combating literacy issues through distribution and access to books across the country.

While there may be no substitute for a healthy home-cooked meal, it’s nice to indulge in a special treat every so often…especially when it includes food for thought in the form of a good book. We commend McDonald’s Canada for this thoughtful initiative. Happy reading!