·         Best selling children’s author releases first four of eight books written exclusively for Happy Meal families

·         Over 93 million books have been distributed to children since the Happy Readers scheme launched in 2014

·         McDonald’s and Tom Fletcher will also be hosting a week-long ‘Happy Readers Holiday Story Club’ during October Half-Term

·         Free with Happy Meals, the books use 100% recyclable material and are packaged in paper

7th October: Following in the footsteps of Roald Dahl and David Walliams, best-selling children’s author and McFly front-man Tom Fletcher is the new Happy Readers author for McDonald’s UK and Ireland, with an exclusive range of story books available for families to collect in McDonald’s Happy Meals.

The first four of eight exclusively written stories will be available from Wednesday October 7th in all Happy Meals as part of the ongoing Book or Toy initiative, which allows families to choose between a book or a toy with every Happy Meal™. As a long-time supporter of family reading and children’s literacy, McDonald’s UK has given away 93 million books with Happy Meals since its launch back in 2014.

Known for his unique storytelling energy, Tom Fletcher has created eight brand-new stories in partnership with McDonald’s Happy Meal and the National Literacy Trust. Released on Wednesday are: The Land of the Dinosaurs, No Grown-Ups Allowed, Ancient Egypt and The Magical North Pole.

As an accomplished children’s author, Tom shares McDonald’s commitment to support families with reading time and has been the Happy Readers ambassador since March. As well as encouraging children’s literacy, the programme also supports McDonald’s sustainability journey, giving families the ability to opt out of plastic toys. Each of the storybooks is produced and packaged using 100% recyclable material.

Tom Fletcher comments “I’m delighted to release these new stories, written exclusively for McDonald’s Happy Readers programme. It is such a fantastic way to inspire children to enjoy reading and I am incredibly proud to be a part of this initiative. Families choosing a book with their Happy Meal this October will receive one of my new stories, following the adventures of Izzy, her cousin Benjy and their magical time-travelling van - with the odd appearance from some of my other favourite characters too.”

Recent research* found that almost a quarter (23%) admit they can only read to their children once a week or less. To help parents encourage their child to read more often, Tom Fletcher and McDonald’s will host a ‘Happy Readers Holiday Story Club’ during October Half Term. Families will be able to access fun video content, featuring Tom reading two of his new stories over the course of the half-term week, from Monday 26th October. 

Michelle Graham-Clare, Vice President Food and Marketing at McDonald’s UK and Ireland comments, “We are committed to helping families enjoy reading together and are proud to announce Tom Fletcher as the latest author as part of our Happy Readers campaign. Tom is one of the UK’s most exciting children’s authors and much-loved by children nationwide so we’re delighted that his new books will be available in Happy Meals to capture the imaginations of young minds this autumn.”

To access the ‘Happy Readers Holiday Story Club’, parents should visit the McDonald’s UK Hub ( where a new reading will be uploaded every day at 10am.

Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust, who are long-time supporters of the Happy Readers scheme, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting McDonald’s Happy Readers  and have no doubt that Tom Fletcher’s magical story books will inspire children’s reading and imaginations. The importance of books and reading cannot be underestimated, and with such significant disruption to children’s literacy and learning earlier this year, it is more important than ever to ensure that children have access to books that will enable them to thrive.”


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Notes to Editor

·          From 2021, every Happy Meal in the UK and Ireland will include either a soft toy, paper-based toy or book.

·          These commitments will remove over 3,000 metric tons of plastic from the business from 2021, the largest reduction by McDonald’s to date.

·          The moves are the latest in a series of efforts to improve the company’s impact on the environment

·          For more information click here.

About Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House is the world’s number one publisher. We champion authors, shaping and sharing writing that sparks thoughts, dreams, conversations and learning.

We are a vibrant community of publishing houses, representing distinguished publishing histories marked by unparalleled success. We are a home to all kinds of authors. From the best new fiction or picture book writers, to political commentators, trailblazing entrepreneurs, health experts and bold illustrators, we enable talented people from all walks of life to tell their stories – and we make sure they are heard. We sell and license books in over 120 countries, connecting great books with a growing and global audience. We bring words to life.  /

About Tom Fletcher
Tom Fletcher is one of the UK's bestselling authors for children. The Christmasaurus was the biggest debut middle-grade novel of 2016 and was shortlisted for a British Book Award, and The Creakers was a number one bestseller. Tom is also the bestselling author of the Who's in Your Book? picture book series, as well as one half of the author duo behind the Dinosaur that Pooped picture book series, which has sold over a million copies. Tom's books have been translated into thirty-three languages and counting. He is also a music-making, song-writing, guitar-playing, Guinness World Record-holding, nappy changing, galaxy-defending dad!

*2,000 UK parents of children 5-11 20th-24th July Opinium


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