McDonald’s Canada partners with First Book Canada to inspire Canadian children’s love of reading for Family Literacy Day

McDonald's Restaurant


TORONTO – January 23, 2020 – In honour of Family Literacy Day® (January 27), McDonald’s Canada has announced a partnership with First Book Canada that will see 400 brand new books donated in every province across Canada. A donation of 300 books will go directly to local community centres, with 100 books distributed in select McDonald’s restaurants.

The partnership is part of McDonald’s ongoing commitment to literacy in Canada, empowering young people from coast-to-coast to get excited about reading and have access to books. In 2017, McDonald’s Canada began offering books as a choice in every Happy Meal® through a partnership with Kids Can Press, which since its inception has seen over 9.5 million books distributed across Canada.

Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

To celebrate and support Family Literacy Day, special literacy themed McDonald’s Family Night events will take place in 10 cities across the country on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 and will feature live readings from local authors. Locations include:


McDonald’s Restaurant

Book & Author

Richmond, BC

7120 #3 Road

Wade’s Wiggly Antlers, Louise Bradford

Edmonton, AB

15333 Castledowns Road NW

My Forest is Green, Darren LeBeuf

Saskatoon, SK

3202 Preston Ave South

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book, Alice Kuipers

Winnipeg, MB

1440 Ellice Ave

The Day Dad Joined My Soccer Team, Maureen Fergus

Kingston, ON

1165 Division St

ABC of Canada, Kim Bellefontaine

Longueuil, QC

650, Boul. Roland-Therrien

La grève du bain (Bath time Strike), Pierrette Dubé

Paradise, NL

1278 Topsail Road

All Around The Circle, Cara Kansala

Upper Tantallon, NS

4 Westwood Blvd

The Secret Life of Squirrels, Nancy Rose

Charlottetown, PE

427 University Avenue

The Secret of Bowring Park, Christine Gordon Manley

Oromocto, NB

100 MacDonald Avenue

If A Horse Had Words, Kelly Cooper


Children attending one of the literacy themed McDonald’s Family Night events will receive a copy of the author’s book to take home (100 available per event). As well, those in attendance will have the opportunity to enjoy all the regular activities that take place at a McDonald’s Family Night – which happen every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at participating McDonald’s restaurants in Canada – such as crafts, games and other activities!

Additionally, through this partnership, McDonald’s Canada and First Book Canada will donate new books to the 15 Ronald McDonald Houses across the country, to update and replenish their Free Little Libraries. This donation provides families of sick children staying at the Houses with books to make their stay feel more like home.

“We believe books are an essential building block to a greater future for kids, which is why we want to inspire Canadian families to come together and share in the magic of reading,” said Michelle McIlmoyle, Senior National Marketing Manager, McDonald’s Canada. “This partnership with First Book Canada further strengthens our commitment to literacy across the country, and we’re thrilled to be working with a partner that strongly believes in improving access to educational opportunities for children.”

“In Canada, almost 25 per cent of households do not have a single book,” said Tom Best, Executive Director, First Book Canada. “The partnership with McDonald’s Canada helps provide better access to literacy for so many Canadian youth, and it’s exciting  for us to be a key player in putting books in the hands of kids and helping to spark a love for reading.”

Additional Facts

  • McDonald’s Canada began offering books as a choice in every Happy Meal through a partnership with Kids Can Press in 2017, and has since added a second publisher
  • All Happy Meal books contain high-quality children’s literature, and are available in both English and French
  • Every eight weeks, four new books are available through the Happy Meal book or toy program, giving Canadian children another opportunity to fall in love with reading

About McDonald's® Canada

In 1967, Canadians welcomed the first McDonald's restaurant to Richmond, British Columbia. Today, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited has become part of the Canadian fabric, serving close to three million guests every day. Together with our franchisees, we proudly employ nearly 90,000 people from coast-to-coast, and approximately 85 per cent of McDonald's 1,400 Canadian restaurants are locally owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs. Of the almost $1 billion we spend on food, more than 85 per cent is purchased from over 100 suppliers in Canada. For more information on McDonald's Canada visit

About First Book Canada

Almost 25 per cent of Canadian households do not have a single book. First Book Canada is transforming the lives of kids in need by making brand new, high quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis. Through a market-driven model, First Book Canada is creating equal access to quality education affordable to its member network of more than 10,000 educators who exclusively serve kids in need. Since 2009, First Book Canada has distributed more than 7 million books and educational resources to hundreds of thousands of kids across Canada.

About Kids Can Press

Kids Can Press, part of the Corus Entertainment family, is the largest Canadian-owned children’s publisher and a recipient of the distinguished Bologna Prize for Best Children’s Publisher of the Year, North America. In 2018 Kids Can Press celebrated 45 years in children’s publishing. Our catalogue includes an award-winning list of over 700 picture books, nonfiction and fiction titles for children and young adults. Browse our books at

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