For decades, McDonald’s Happy Meals have included little toys in order to better appeal to the target audience of children. The fast-food franchise has often teamed up with the latest trend in pop-culture to offer toys based on films and TV shows, but now Kiwi diners will have the opportunity to receive a book with their Happy Meal.
As The Independent reports, McDonald’s has teamed up with the Roald Dahl estate to allow diners to order a copy of The Witches or The BFG with their burger and fries. These abridged versions of Dahl’s novels are part of McDonald’s Happy Meal Readers program and also include stickers and puzzles for children to complete. Over the next six weeks, McDonald’s will be handing out over 800,000 books.
Director of marketing at McDonald’s New Zealand, Jo Mitchell, stated that the new line of books are designed to try and encourage more children to read. She also thinks that parents will be interested in seeing their kids reading the same books they read as children. “The Roald Dahl characters are ones that many parents will have enjoyed growing up, and it’s great to play a part in introducing them to a new generation,” she said.
This isn’t actually the first time McDonald’s has offered young customers books with their Happy Meals. Since the Happy Readers program was launched in 2001, tt has given away over 450 million books. Sweden was the first country to adopt the program and New Zealand joined just over a decade ago. Malaysia is also part of a similar program where children can choose between a toy or a book written by How to Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell. In 2018, McDonald’s stated it planned to expand its Happy Readers program to over 100 markets by 2019.