I'm afraid Lara has been introduced (via desperation on a long road trip) to the
Unfortunately, she is also going through that lovely toddler phase of being very, very, very, very particular about what she will and won't eat, and it changes like the wind, varying hour to hour, let alone day to day!
Yesterday, after a very pleasant lunch in town (for me, Steve & Sophia anyway!), at which Lara ate virtually nothing, we passed the M. Giving in to loud 'chipsy' demands, we bought a Happy Meal, expecting the usual plastic toy tut which would occupy her, along with the fries, on the way home. To our surprise, the accompanying freebie was a mini Dorling Kindersley Eye Witness paperback about sea creatures, complete with enough facts for any curious child, lots of great pictures for discussion with toddlers, and the all-important stickers. Most impressed.
Apparently, this is part of a two year partnership between McDonald's, Dorling Kindersley and W.H.Smith, which is backed by the National Literacy Trust. The Happy Readers campaign also involves having special tokens printed on Happy Meal boxes, entitling children to further books from Smith's for just £1.
With the shocking information that one in three children in the UK don't own a single book, this initiative will play a significant role in physically getting books into those children's hands. I'm sure it's not stereotyping to say that the children who don't own books are far more likely to set foot in a McDonald's than they are in a library.
It's not difficult to make the link between book ownership and children's future prospects, so anything that can get books into kids' hands is fine by me, especially when they are bright, engaging and colourful like the mini DK ones currently being offered. Hopefully the presence of these books next to your burger will inspire families to explore them, and show people that reading together can be fun too.
Well done McDonald's!