Research conducted by the National Literacy Trust revealed that whilst over three quarters of children aged 5 to 8 enjoy reading in their free time (76%), only a half of UK kids read outside of class (54%).
Jo Conlon, Family Marketing Manager at McDonald’s UK, said: “We are committed to helping families enjoy reading together by improving access to brilliant children’s books and the Happy Readers scheme does just that. With 70 million books distributed to date, we hope the programme continues to inspire families across the country to enjoy these fabulous stories together. David Walliams’ books are loved by kids nationwide. The World’s Worst Children books are full of wickedly funny stories and horrible happenings that leave young readers squirming in their seats – in a good way!”
The Happy Readers campaign is supported by Emmerdale actress and celebrity mum of three, Charley Webb. Speaking about the campaign, Charley, said: “I think the Happy Readers scheme is brilliant. It is incredibly important young children are encouraged to read for their own mental health, as it provides them with an opportunity to relax and wind down with their loved ones. My kids love the World’s Worst Children stories, particularly Buster who adores “Vain Valentine” where the main character’s vain eccentricities leave us both in hysterics. As a family, we love to read together, and always make time for a bedtime story.”
Lending her support to the campaign, Charley is hosting a reading of the Happy Reader editions at a McDonald’s restaurant in Knaresborough on the 12th September to bring some of the hilariously horrible characters from the books, to life.
Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust, said: “We are pleased to be supporting McDonald’s on their sixth Happy Readers campaign to encourage more children to read in their free time. With our research showing that 1 in 5 young children don’t have any books of their own at home, the Happy Readers scheme is a great way to increase children’s access to books and get them reading avidly in their free time. When children enjoy reading and have books of their own at home, they do better at school and are more likely to lead happy, healthy and successful lives.”
Ann-Janine Murtagh, Executive Publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books, said: “As part of HarperCollins ongoing commitment to literacy it is wonderful to be reaching an even bigger audience of new readers with these special Happy Reader editions of David’s bestselling series. David’s stories are perfect for shared family entertainment and we very much hope this will demonstrate the pleasure and fun that reading can bring.”
The McDonald’s Happy Readers promotion launched on 11th September and runs over five weeks, with one book given away with each The World of David Walliams Happy Meal until 15th October.
For more information, please visit https://www.mcdonalds.com/gb/en-gb/latest/happy-meal.html.