Instead of a toy, children will be provided with a free book whenever they buy a McDonald’s Happy Meal this month.
McDonald’s Malaysia managing director Stephen Chew said the selection of books would be from the “Watch Me Grow” series by DK Publishing.
“We want to promote family togetherness through reading and we also want to inculcate reading and early literacy among children,” he said during the launch of the Happy Meal Book Programme.
The colourful books focus on separate topics and allow children to follow the growth process of turtles, apes, butterflies, elephants, penguins and pandas.
Other than that, there are another two books, which are focused on the human body and art and culture.
“As a family restaurant, we always value the importance of family,” he said, adding that parents could spend time reading to their children while bonding over a meal.
Chew said to complement the programme, McDonald’s would also be organising interesting family reading activities throughout the month of May.
“Over the weekends, parents and their children can be entertained by storytelling sessions hosted by Ronald McDonald and also aspiring local authors,” he said.
He said the future plans would be to allow these local authors to introduce their own writings and possibly push for publication of their pieces as well.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, who officiated at the launch of the programme, said providing free books with their meals was a great way to get children excited about reading.
“We need to continue to promote programmes that encourage the reading habit in the community,” she said, adding that reading a book was much better than scrolling through a mobile phone during meals.
She said the ministry was in full support of the programme as it was in line with their own goals as well.