I have an addiction. I LOVE McDonald’s McCafé specialty coffee drinks – or more specifically, I love their mochas. Or as my husband calls them, “brownies in a cup.” Fresh ground espresso, chocolate syrup, steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle – what’s not to love? Admittedly a mocha isn’t the healthiest drink I could choose at McDonald’s, but I love them the way I love the occasional chocolate cupcake. I have a thing for chocolate. McDonald’s mochas are a special treat for me. When I went back to college as a “non-traditional student” (a mom of three who was working a full-time job) and made the President’s List, I treated myself to a mocha. When I got my first check from a publisher for a story I’d written – a story someone was willing to pay me real money for! – I deposited the check pretty quickly (after taking a picture of it for posterity), but kept a little cash to go through the drive-thru for a mocha on my way home. When I’m having a rough day, my husband knows that a little chocolate-caffeine fix from McDonald’s will improve my mood (smart man, that one).
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about books!
Happy Meal books, to be exact. Through November 14th, McDonald’s is offering limited-edition books in lieu of toys in their Happy Meals! As part of their launch they’ve also joined forces with Reading is Fundamental (RIF) to provide an additional 100,000 Happy Meal books (on top of the 20 million that will be distributed in the Happy Meals) to children who may not have easy access to book. Furthermore, McDonald’s has partnered with DK Publishing to provide a different interactive e-book on their McPlay app every month through the end of 2014! The first digital book, “The World’s Greatest Cities,” introduces DK Publishing’s Amazing World Series. The Happy Meal Books, as well as the DK Publishing e-books, are available for download at HappyMeal.com.
“We’re excited to invite families to spend time together and celebrate the joy of reading through these fun and original Happy Meal Books,” said Ubong Ituen, vice president of marketing for McDonald’s USA. “This is the latest step in our ongoing efforts to enrich the lives of families, and part of a broader book strategy that will combine the fun of the Happy Meal, new partners and technology to inspire more family reading time.”To read the full article, visit McDonald's Newsroom.
McDonald’s was kind enough to send me a complimentary Family Reading Pack, including a copy of each of the four books, to review and share with my children. With their whimsical illustrations and imaginative storylines, my kids were hooked! The first one we read was “The Goat Who Ate Everything” – my kids were instantly drawn to the creative cover, which has a chunk bitten out of the corner, proving the point that this goat will eat anything and everything! But the poor goat discovers that eating everything leads to tummyaches, while eating right leaves him feeling great!
“Ant, Can’t” tells the story of Alexi Ant, who encourages physical fitness and leads the effort to save the anthill from a construction crew.
Next up was “Doddi the Dodo Goes to Orlando” – but Doddi’s journey is very roundabout (she travels from Toledo to Orlando via northern Canada, Spain, Cairo, Moscow, and many other locales). Her various stops along the way open the door to conversations with your kids about a lot of different places in the world.
My personal favorite of the four books was “Deana’s Big Dreams” – the story of a tiny dinosaur who eventually grows so big she outgrows the book!
Each book also comes with this cute little bookmark, encouraging kids to think about other books they love.
Not one, but FIVE lucky readers are going to win Family Reading Packs courtesy of McDonald’s! In addition to the four books, each winner will receive a McDonald’s blanket (seen in the background of the book pictures), a reading light, and an Arch card. Enter for your chance to win using the Giveaway Tools widget below – and don’t forget to come back every day to claim your daily entries!