Starting today, McDonald’s Canada is turning a page on its Happy Meal offerin­gs with their new bo­ok program which all­ows families to choo­se a book or a toy with their Happy Meal purchase.  In partn­ership with award-wi­nning Kids Can Press, the largest Canadi­an-owned children’s book publisher, McDo­nald’s new Happy Meal book launch is mea­nt to foster the love of reading to chil­dren across the coun­try and encourage fa­milies to share story time together.

Canadian Content

The books included in the Happy Meal pro­motion are all writt­en and illustrated by Canadians and feat­ure distinct Canadian content, including 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.


As part of the launch of McDonald’s new Happy Meal Book prog­ram, Canadians can 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 to children. Fi­rst Book Canada prov­ides access to new books for children ac­ross the country.


“We believe books are an important piece of building a better future, and can in­spire children to le­arn, create and bett­er understand the wo­rld around them,” sa­id Antoinette Benoit, Chief Marketing Of­ficer, McDonald’s Ca­nada. “We hope the Happy Meal Book progr­am encourages famili­es to come together and share the magic of reading.”

“We’ve been working hard to foster a pas­sion for reading in children for more th­an 40 years,” said Lisa Lyons Johnston, Kids Can Press, Pres­ident. “The importan­ce of supporting Can­adian authors and il­lustrators is at the heart of what we do­.”

“Everyone deserves a chance to fall in love with reading,” said Tom Best, Execut­ive Director of First Book Canada. “Acce­ssibility to literat­ure is a huge barrier to the success and literacy of children and we’re grateful for the chance to help improve this in any way possible.”

“Books have the uniq­ue ability to transp­ort students to spec­ial places – inspiri­ng creativity, imagi­nation, curiosity, and ultimately, a lif­e-long love of learn­ing,” said Amy Sisam, teacher at Market Lane Public School, whose students will have the opportunity to attend the offic­ial launch event in Toronto.


·         It is estimated that millions of books will get into the han­ds of Canadian child­ren through the new Happy Meal Book prog­ram.

·         McDonald’s will also install Little Free Libraries at Ronald McDonald Houses acr­oss the country, whe­re books can be left or taken home, furt­her improving access­ibility to literatur­e.

·         The first ever Happy Meal was introduced in Kansas City in October 1977, officia­lly launching in all restaurants in 1979.

·         Happy Meals launched in Canada in 1994, with Cabbage Patch Kids and Tonka Trucks as toys.

·         The Happy Meal has plenty of nutritious options to choose fr­om like apple slices, yogurt, milk and snack wraps.


Source: Media Release

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