You may have seen the news that McDonalds has a plan to give away 20 million books with their Happy Meals. The LA Times has summarised the plots for us so we don’t need to actually read them. [The subtext interpretations are mine, all mine.]
“The Goat Who Ate Everything,” — Tells a story of a goat who has a big appetite and struggles to eat right. But when he does, he feels great and becomes the playful ‘kid’ everyone loves. [Eat all of your Happy Meal so that your parents know that you’re at least eating something, thereby making them happy by reinforcing ‘value for money’, making it more likely they’ll bring you right back.]
“Deana’s Big Dreams” — Shares how Deana, the world’s smallest dinosaur, grew tall by eating right. [An overt healthy eating message, which makes a link ‘McDonalds’ and ‘healthy eating’ in the minds of impressionable children by using situational learning techniques.]
“Ant, Can’t” — Features Ant, a bite-sized bodybuilder who’s big on encouraging physical fitness through exercise and eating right. [If you eat McDonalds and you’re overweight, it’s not our food; it’s because you don’t exercise enough, you slob.]
“Doddi the Dodo Goes to Orlando” — Follows happy-go-lucky bird Doddi who travels the world. She eats right because this dodo is always on the go-go. [Rhyme and alliteration is used to link happiness with travel and McDonalds Fast Food Restaurants, which are conveniently located in any ‘foreign’ city worth visiting.]
Here, the providers of the books defend not only the partnership with fastfood, but ebooks in general. Kudos for that second bit. Nor do I blame them for the partnership. Let’s hope the books are excellent.