Big Mac or Big Friendly Giant?

For six weeks from tomorrow, nearly 800,000 Roald Dahl books will be included with Happy Meals in New Zealand. The collaboration is part of McDonald’s global Happy Meal Readers programme, which seeks to inspire a lifelong passion for reading.

“The Happy Meal Readers programme is all about helping parents to get their children to enjoy reading,” said Jo Mitchell, director of marketing at McDonald’s New Zealand. “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.”

Created especially for the Happy Meal Readers programme, the six titles include Roald Dahl’s Fantabulous BFG, Lucky Charlie Bucket, Brave Little Sophie, Wonderful Willy Wonka, Marvellous Miss Honey and Matilda. Featuring story extracts from the original Dahl titles, each book includes a selection of stickers and activities, complete with iconic illustrations by Quentin Blake.

Over the last decade McDonald’s New Zealand has offered a number of ranges of books in place of toys, and in 2017 books were permanently added as an option in place of a toy. Including the Roald Dahl range, Macca’s will have provided more than 3 million books in New Zealand and close to 450 million books globally.

A recent survey from The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) found that 40 percent of Kiwi adults cannot read at a day-to-day functioning level. It also found that literacy in New Zealand primary school aged children has decreased significantly in the last five years. A different Roald Dahl book will be available each week with Happy Meals, or can be purchased individually, from 24 January.