Take a ‘shelfie’, and up to 20,000 books will be donated to First Book Canada

Would you like a toy or a book with your McDonald’s Happy Meal?

Following the success of similar programs in the U.S. and U.K., McDonald’s Canada has paired with Kids Can Press, the largest Canadian-owned children’s book publisher, to offer a Happy Meal Book program where children can choose to get a mini book instead of a toy.

The year-long promotion offers two new books each month beginning with Hurry Up, Franklin by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark and Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Mélanie Watt.

All the books included in the promotion are written and illustrated by Canadians.

“We (are) thrilled to be part of an initiative to get books into the hands of children across the country and encourage family reading time,” said Michaela Cornell, communication strategist for Kids Can Press.

As part of the launch, Canadians can help spread the love of reading through McDonald’s #OwnaBookGiveaBook donation initiative by posting a shelfie – a photo of book shelves – including the hashtag. One book per shelfie – up to 20,000 books – will be donated with First Book Canada, which provide access to new books to children in need across the country.

“We believe books are an important piece of building a better future, and can inspire children to learn, create and better understand the world around them,” said Antoinette Benoit, chief marketing officer, McDonald’s Canada in a release. “We hope the Happy Meal Book program encourages families to come together and share the magic of reading.”

Tom Best, executive director of First Books Canada, said in a release that everyone deserves the chance to fall in love with reading.

“Accessibility to literature is a huge barrier to the success and literacy of children, and we’re grateful for the chance to help improve this in any way possible.”

It is estimated that millions of books will get into the hands of Canadian children through the new Happy Meal Book program.

In addition, McDonald’s will also install Little Free Libraries at Ronald McDonald Houses across the country, where books can be left or taken home, further improving accessibility to literature.