Food For The Brain: McDonald’s Teams Up With Author Cressida Cowell For Exclusive 12-Book Digital Series

Thousands of children are currently flocking to cinemas all over the world to see the newly released third instalment in the How To Train Your Dragon franchise. The trilogy, its accompanying short films and the TV adaptation Dragons, are all based on the popular children’s book series of the same name by world-renowned author Cressida Cowell.

So, whether you are one such cinemagoer, a lucky parent or simply fancy yourself a Happy Meal, we’ve got good news for you!

In a bid to inspire the next generation of young readers, global fast food chain McDonald’s has announced a 12-book digital series written exclusively for the chain by the How To Train Your Dragon author.

The fast food giant, together with advertising agency R/GA, is expanding its global “Happy Meal Readers” programme in collaboration with children’s book publisher Hachette Children’s Group. McDonald’s began rolling out the initiative in January 2019, which was developed alongside the launch of ‘The Treetop Twin’s Adventures’.

The food giant tasked R/GA with bringing the exclusive book series to life within its McDonald’s Global Happy Meal app, which aims to inspire a passion for reading. As the reader embarks on their reading adventure, the story unfolds with rich sound effects and animations, creating a captivating reading experience to excite kids and parents around the globe and help inspire a lifelong love of reading.

On the digital adaptation, Cressida Cowell said “I am so delighted to work with McDonald’s and R/GA London on this digitalisation of The Adventures of the Treetop Twins. I love how the app helps to guide readers through my stories and adds integrated sound effects and animations which complement the narrative. As a literacy ambassador, I know how important engaging, educational digital resources can be – especially for children who may not currently enjoy reading.”

Meanwhile, R/GA’s creative director Ben Lloyd commented: “It was important to elevate the enjoyment of reading for kids and reimagine how books are experienced today” said Ben Lloyd, Creative Director R/GA London. “By making reading fun and creating a truly immersive reading experience for the whole family, we’ve helped instill a lifelong love of reading for kids, and inspired millions of families around the world to read and enjoy moments together.”

Throughout 2019, the chain will also hand out a physical copy of the exclusive book series with every Happy Meal pack. The Treetop Twins Adventures centres around two sets of twins, Asha and Alfie and Tulip and Ted, as well as their parent’s professors Penelope and Pablo, who encounter a real-life dinosaur. The series includes interesting dinosaur facts and children can access additional content, such as different sounds and animations, via the Global Happy Meal app by scanning a provided QR code.

The 12-book read-along series will be live in 80 markets and available in 43 different languages on both Android and iOS.

In a similar move, McDonald’s will also give away 800,000 Roald Dahl books in its New Zealand chains this year. The fast food chain has decided to replace its famed Happy Meal children’s toys with titles such as Wonderful Mr Willy Wonka, Matilda, Fantabuluos BFG, Lucky Charlie Bucket, Brave Little Sophie and Marvellous Miss Honey.

Each book will feature extracts from Dahl’s original titles alongside illustrations by Quentin Blake. The handout will also feature a selection of stickers and activities for young customers.