When I was growing up, books were a huge part of my life. I was obsessed with reading, especially mystery novels. It started with the Boxcar Children, then Nancy Drew and Babysitters Club, followed by Harry Potter, and then pretty much anything and everything by James Patterson, John Grisham, and Stephen King. Reading was my escape, it fostered my imagination, and I’m positive it played a huge part in developing my creativity – something that I still make use of every single day.
In this day and age, with screen time so prevalent, it’s become so much more important to foster that love of reading from an early age. Books help kids develop a positive imagination and creative thinking in ways an iPad cannot. Creating good reading habits starts when kids are young, which will in turn help them become strong readers and students when they are older.
To be able to encourage that love of reading, kids need access to books. I know that I am very much privileged to be able to provide my children with a lot of books to fill our home so they are constantly surrounded by something to read, so much so that it has become second nature for them to grab a book and sit down several times each day when they pass one of our bookcases. Not every child has that privilege. Did you know that two in every five Canadian adults (9 million people) can’t read well enough to do everyday tasks? (source)
McDonald’s Canada is looking to change that. Through a partnership with Kids Can Press, they are now offering high-quality children’s literature as a choice in every Happy Meal to help foster literacy amongst our country’s young people. A national survey of children and youth has proven that early reading skills are absolutely related to a child’s later ability to use and understand printed information, regardless of the child’s background. (source) With this program, McDonald’s Canada is hoping to improve access to children’s books and ensure that everyone has the same chance to fall in love with reading.
Every eight weeks, two new books will be available, in both English and French. All Happy Meal books are written by Canadian authors, and include the following titles:
- Hurry Up, Franklin by Paulette Bourgeois
- Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt
- The Busy Beaver by Nicolas Oldland
- No Dragons For Tea by Jean E. Pendziwol
- Franklin’s Halloween by Paulette Bourgeois
- Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Melanie Watt
- Making the Moose Out of Life by Nicolas Oldland
- Once Upon a Dragon by Jean E. Pendziwol
- Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Melanie Watt
- Franklin’s Valentines by Paulette Bourgeois
- Big Bear Hug by Nicolas Oldland
- Franklin Plays the Game by Paulette Bourgeois
Back in May, McDonalds Canada invited us to help launch their amazing new Book or Toy program with a live reading of the first titles available for the program. Paulette Bourgeois, the author of the Franklin series, was there and did a reading of her book, “Hurry Up, Franklin”. Franklin himself was also at the event, and there were colouring, snack, and reading stations, and each child left with the two first books! Needless to say, this event helped launch my kids love for the Franklin books and now we read “Hurry Up, Franklin” every single day.
I’m so, so excited for this program. Next time we head to McDonald’s for a little treat night, we will absolutely be asking for the books in our Happy Meals!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by McDonald’s Canada. All thoughts and opinions are my own.