McDonald has entered into a partnership with DK Publishing that will lead to the publishing of no less than 20 million ebook titles. That is not all for the two also introduced a new and innovative method of converting ebooks into HTML flip books. This they claim is unique in that this will enable the user to decide what the ebook in HTML flip format will look like or what sound effects it will incorporate. In what is sure to enhance the appeal of the flip books even more, these can also be published in e-magazine, e-brochure, digital album, or e-catalog format just as easily.
McDonald is also partnering with Reading is Fundamental, a non-profit organization promoting the cause of literacy and education that aims to make available no less than a 100,000 ebooks for kids to read throughout the US. Earlier in November, McDonal had made available about 2 million ebooks to families in the US as part of their Happy Meal Books Promotion that also coincided with National Family Literacy Day. The month of November is also being held as the National Family Literacy Month.
“We’re excited to invite families to spend time together and celebrate the joy of reading through these fun and original Happy Meal Books,” said Ubong Ituen, the Marketing Vice President for McDonald’s USA. “This is the latest step in our ongoing efforts to enrich the lives of families, and part of a broader book strategy that will combine the fun of the Happy Meal, new partners and technology to inspire more family reading time.”
However, there are concerns raised from some quarters that question the justifiability of partnering with a fast food chain to promote reading among kids. Fast food has often been linked to several health issues among children and the above scheme can be seen as a means of promoting not only literacy among the kids but also the McDonald’s food bouquet.
Carol Rasco, President and CEO of RIF though is unfazed of the criticism claiming their decision to join hands with McDonald is based on their finding that storytelling during mealtimes boosts literacy. “Talking at mealtime can be so very important to developing early literacy skills,” said Rasco. With these “small, short books, mealtime discussions can happen as naturally as possible.”
Rasco further stated they give away books at zoos, museums or such places frequented by kids though McDonald is one place where families visit for meals.
The four books being doled out with Happy Meals in November include The Goat Who Ate Everything, Deana’s Big Dreams, Ant, Can’t, Doddi the Dodo Goes to Orlando.