What’s Canada got that America hasn’t got? National healthcare, a prime minister who can explain quantum computing — and books in its McDonald’s Happy Meals.
The Huffington Post reports that books are now available with Canadian Happy Meals; families buying Happy Meals can choose books or toys for their kids.
The book giveaway will be a joint project with Kids Can Press, a children’s book publisher that produces picture books by Canadian authors and illustrators. Books included with the Happy Meals include Mélanie Watt’s “Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend” and the very Canadian-sounding “Making the Moose out of Life” and “The Busy Beaver” by Nicholas Oldland.
(Kids who prefer not to read can still opt for Beanie Boos, small stuffed animals, including a penguin, polar bear and, of course, moose.)
The fast food chain also announced a social media campaign called #OwnaBookGiveaBook, which urges people to take pictures of their bookshelves and post to Twitter or Facebook. Each time the hashtag is used, McDonald’s will donate a book to First Book Canada, a charity that provides books to children in need.
But in 2015, McDonald’s in Australia drew the ire of a group that promotes healthy eating for children after the chain announced it would give kids the option of choosing a book as their prize.
“As a parent it’s a lot harder to say ‘no’ to your child if they are asking for a book than it is when they want a ‘Minions’ toy,” said Parents’ Jury manager Alice Pryor.
Young readers in America will have to wait for another promotion to get their literary fix, however. Currently, U.S. McDonald’s stores are offering “Super Mario” toys with the kids’ meals.