For six weeks this fall, instead of finding plastic toys in their Happy Meals, children in the UK will receive books by Roald Dahl. The iconic author’s estate has joined forces with McDonald’s to produce 14 million custom-made books that will each include samples of two Roald Dahl titles. Some pairings include James and the Giant Peach and The BFG, The Twits and Matilda, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr. Fox.
The campaign is backed by the National Literacy Trust, who surveyed and discovered that 15.4 percent of children in the UK don't own a book. This isn’t McDonald’s first attempt at encouraging young people to read—they’ve given away more than 22.8 million books through their Happy Readers program since 2013. In the past they’ve distributed titles from Enid Blyton and Dorling Kindersley’s Amazing World series.
The initiative launched in UK McDonald’s this past Wednesday and will continue into early November. Abigail Moss, the National Literacy Trust’s deputy director, believes that Roald Dahl is the perfect author to bridge a connection between parents and their children. “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,” she says in a press release. “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.” After millions of Dahl's books are distributed, hopefully his sense of magic and curiosity will have infected a new generation.
[h/t: The Guardian]