For six weeks only, fast food is about to get a little bit healthier — because McDonald's are giving out Roald Dahl books in their Happy Meals. Before you get too excited, this is only happening in the U.K. right now — but if you keep your fingers crossed, the movement might just make it across the pond. Here’s hoping!
This partnership between McDonald's and the Roald Dahl estate aims to get more kids reading, and I have a feeling it might just work. After all, if anyone can get kids engaged in literature, it’s Roald Dahl. For the next six weeks, all Happy Meals in the U.K. will contain a specially-created book full of extracts from some of Dahl’s most beloved stories. These books will have no McDonald's branding; this is just a lovely addition for a lucky child’s bookshelf. What a great idea!
It’s especially wonderful to see this coming from McDonald's, who often seem really to be trying to make themselves a bit healthier. While some chicken nuggets here are there aren’t the end of the world, it’s no secret that McDonald's food isn’t exactly good for you. They’ve been working on this for a while, by introducing healthy options, and even an amazing McBike box to encourage a more active lifestyle, but this latest incentive is my favorite. If there’s one thing more important than keeping your body healthy, it’s keeping your mind healthy — and a good diet of reading will do just that.
Happy Meal toys were the most exciting part of most of our childhoods, and so Happy Meals filled with books sounds like an absolute dream come true. Here are five books I’d just love to find next to my cheeseburger.
Firebird by Misty Copeland
Firebird is the debut picture book by the fantastic Misty Copeland, and tells the story of a young girl who doesn’t have the confidence to achieve her dreams. Accompanied with gorgeous and colorful illustrations, this book encourages children (and adults, too!) to believe in themselves, and chase their goals.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Who needs toys to play with when you’ve got Charlotte’s Web? The unlikely friendship between a “talking” pig and a very un-scary spider is enough to entertain you for hours. Although be warned, it may have you crying into your fries by the end.
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
All 13 of these books are wickedly fun, but the first one, in which the unlucky Baudelaire children first meet Count Olaf, has got to be one of the best. Plus, your heart will be banging so much by the time Viola is forced on stage to marry the evil Count that it basically counts as your cardio for the day — and so your McDonald's is totally justified. (You know what, it was totally justified anyway. It’s been a long day; you eat that McDonald's!)
Half Magic by Edward Eager
What would you do if you found a coin that could grant exactly half a wish? This delightful book follows the children who find exactly that, and discover that tricking it into giving them what they want isn’t always as easy as it seems.
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Against the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, three sisters travel to California to find the mother who abandoned them. Through this unsettling and tumultuous summer, the girls learn a lot about themselves and their identity. Rita Williams-Garcia narrates this story with a funny and moving voice that keeps children and adults alike hooked from beginning to end.