McDonald’s will be handing out 14 million Roald Dahl books with Happy Meals.
As part of a literacy drive between the fast food chain and the late author’s estate, eight different titles will be included as gifts over the next six weeks.
Books included in the scheme include the likes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr Fox, while the ‘Magical Mischief’ title will offer extracts from George’s Marvellous Medicine and Matilda.
Abigail Moss, deputy director of the National Literacy Trust, said the campaign was “reaching out onto the high street."
She added: “Many parents will have enjoyed the wonderful world of Roald Dahl when they were young and now they’ll be able to share these iconic stories with their children.
“The scale of the campaign will reach millions of children, including many who haven’t owned a book before, inspiring them to enjoy reading and improving their life chances.”
McDonald's has given away nearly 23 million books since its Happy Readers programme was established in 2013 – with previous titles including the work of Enid Blyton and Dorling Kindersley’s Amazing World Series.
Tam Fry, Spokesperson for the National Obesity Forum, praised the new scheme for ‘stimulating’ children.
She told The Guardian: “On the assumption that McDonald’s will not be branding books but will distribute them as published, introducing books to the families likely to be McDonald’s patrons can be only a good thing.
“McDonald’s customers will buy burgers regardless and the bonus of a book may stimulate their children. Much better than a cheap plastic toy.”
What do you make of this drive to get children reading Roald Dahl books? What memories do you have from stories like Matilda and The Twits? Visit the Poetry & Art! Online forum and join the conversation!
Edited by Joe Jones