McDonald’s USA Inspires Reading with Popular Happy Meal Children’s Books
Partnership with Peanuts celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing by Discovering Space with Snoopy
CHICAGO, August 19, 2019– In celebration of September’s National Literacy Month and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, McDonald's USA is inviting families to celebrate the joy of reading with the launch of the latest Happy Meal Books promotion. This year, four Happy Meal Books follow everyone’s favorite beagle, Snoopy, as he explores outer space. The books will be in restaurants nationwide beginning August 20.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, McDonald’s and Peanuts created four books that take readers to the moon and beyond. Each book includes special pages with fun, interactive activities. The books available are:
- Snoopy Blasts Off!: Snoopy prepares for his blast-off into space, with a special surprise pop-up in the middle of the book.
- Snoopy’s Constellation Quest: Go along with Snoopy as he explores the galaxy, and search for hidden images on the moon.
- Snoopy The Mars Rover: Ride along with Snoopy as he travels around Mars and learn fun facts through a magical reveal wand.
- Snoopy to the Moon: Explore the moon’s surface with Snoopy and build your own moon display.
“In July of 2018, Peanuts signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA and committed to working to bring the joys of space exploration and STEM into the lives of today’s kids, and to honor the legacy of Snoopy’s history with NASA,” said Roz Nowicki, Executive Vice President, Peanuts Worldwide. “This promotion with one of the nation’s most beloved restaurants brings that commitment to kids and families around the country who will be inspired by these fun, and educational books.”
McDonald's is also a proud supporter of Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's largest children's literacy organization, which seeks to promote literacy by creating needs-based content and scalable community solutions so every child can experience the life-changing power of literacy. McDonald’s is donating 100,000 Happy Meal books to RIF literacy efforts and programs across the country, bringing the total number of books donated since the program’s inception to more than 400,000. To help parents and teachers incorporate additional fun and learning from the books, RIF has created a collection of games and puzzles at https://www.rif.org/literacy-central/collections/mcdonalds.
"Reading ignites imaginations and opens a world of possibilities for children," says Alicia Levi, CEO at Reading Is Fundamental. "By partnering with McDonald’s to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, we can provide books to kids who need them most while helping them learn about the excitement of space exploration.”
McDonald's Happy Meal Book promotion is among a list of the company's actions supporting a commitment to promote children's well-being by inspiring kids to engage in active and imaginative play in a fun way and help develop a sense of community. This announcement follows a number of changes McDonald's has made to its Happy Meal, including:
- Offering apple slices and Yoplait Go-GURT Low Fat Strawberry Yogurt as sides.
- Beverage options, including Honest Kids Appley Ever After Organic Juice drink, white milk and water.
- Reformulating some ingredients in Chicken McNuggets to have no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.
- McDonald’s classic hamburgers have no artificial preservatives, no artificial flavors and no added colors from artificial sources. The pickle contains an artificial preservative, which customers can skip if they like.
"Families are important to us, so we're excited to add to the fun of the Happy Meal experience to inspire more family time together," said Julie Wenger, Senior Director of U.S. Marketing at McDonald's. "We're proud to partner with Peanuts and Reading Is Fundamental to spread the joy of reading through these fun books that give us a glimpse into one of our country’s most historic moments and look toward the future of the space program.”
Following the books, a lineup of Snoopy and Woodstock action toys that celebrate astronauts and space exploration will inspire kids to play and learn through fun. Each toy comes with a double-sided cardboard token featuring a fact supplied by NASA. The toys are designed to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) learning.
For more information about Happy Meal Books, visit www.McDonald's.com.
About McDonald’s USA
McDonald’s serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Ninety-five percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by business men and women. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook at www.facebook.com/mcdonalds.
Charles M. Schulz first introduced the world to the Peanuts characters in 1950, when the Peanuts comic strip debuted in seven newspapers. Since then, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang have made an indelible mark on popular culture. Peanuts animated specials and series air on major networks and streaming services, including ABC, Cartoon Network and Boomerang in the U.S., Family Channel in Canada, and the WildBrain network on YouTube worldwide. Fans also enjoy Peanuts through thousands of consumer products around the world, amusement parks attractions, cultural events, social media, and a daily comic strip available in all formats from traditional to digital. In 2018, Peanuts partnered with NASA on a multi-year Space Act Agreement designed to inspire a passion for space exploration and STEM among the next generation of students. The Peanuts characters and related intellectual property are 41% owned by DHX Media (TSX: DHX, NASDAQ: DHXM), 39% owned by Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., and 20% owned by family of Charles M. Schulz.
About Reading Is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is committed to a literate America by inspiring a passion for reading among all children, providing quality content to create impact, and engaging communities in the solution to give every child the fundamentals for success. As the nation's largest nonprofit organization for children's literacy, RIF has provided more than 416 million books to 50 million kids in all 50 states, inspiring generations to read, learn and grow. For more information visit: RIF.org/about-rif.