As research reveals 7% of 5-8 year olds never read outside of school, children’s author and World Book Day champion Tom Fletcher has joined forces with the UK’s biggest distributor of free books, McDonald’s, to celebrate World Book Day and encourage families everywhere to Share a Story.
Since 5th February, the Happy Meal box in the UK and Ireland has included a free book token from World Book Day, giving millions of families’ access to one of 12 books for free from booksellers across the country.
To celebrate, Tom Fletcher has recorded an audiobook of Supertato, Books Are Rubbish by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, published by Simon & Schuster Children’s UK, available for free at mcdonalds.co.uk/happymeal.
Later this year Fletcher, author of a number of bestselling children’s books including The Christmasaurus, Brain Freeze (written specially for WBD 2018) and the Who’s In Your Book picture book series will exclusively be available for distribution in the iconic Happy Meal as part of his year-long partnership with McDonald’s Happy Readers scheme.
Since the initiative began, McDonald’s has given away over 90 million books. It is McDonald’s ambition that their continued Happy Readers scheme, will help grow that figure and help even more children enjoy reading daily.
Research from the National Literacy Trust shows that 7% of Children aged 5-8 never read outside of class, 8% only once or twice a month and nearly a third (32%) once or twice a week.
IN PHOTO - L-R - Zane-Ellis Yeboah age 4, Alexandra Ancharaz age 5 and Maisie Patey age 4
Tom Fletcher said “I love thinking of stories, writing them down and most of all I love reading them to my kids. Story time is a special part of mf family’s day. And I get really carried away – doing lots of silly voices and actions. That’s why I couldn’t be happier to support McDonald’s with their incredible Happy Readers scheme, which has got 90 million books into the hands of kids and counting. Today, to celebrate World Book Day, I’ve been reading one of the awesome books available for free with your £1 World Book Day token, which you can get on every single Happy Meal box until 17th March.”
Ben Fox, Marketing Director, McDonald’s UK & Ireland said “Tom joins the likes of Roald Dahl, David Walliams and Enid Blyton in the iconic authors who have supported our Happy Readers programme and we are delighted to have him on board. We are incredibly proud of the programme which in its seventh year just goes from strength to strength and we’re excited to join families across the country celebrating World Book Day with Tom’s support.”
Cassie Chadderton, Chief Executive of World Book Day said “We’re thrilled to be working with McDonald’s to encourage even more families to share stories. Together we can get more children to discover the joy of books and reading for pleasure. Tom is a great supporter of our charity and his sharing of Supertato, Books Are Rubbish by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, with everyone who chooses to download the file, will certainly help us reach our goal of sharing a million stories, and to create a nation of lifetime readers.”
To further support this commitment from Wednesday 5th February to Tuesday 17th March, the £1 World Book Day token will feature on every single McDonald’s Happy Meal™ box, which children and families can swap for one of a wide range of World Book Day free books at their local participating bookshop or supermarket between 27th February and 29th March.