Sunday, February 28, 2016

McDonald's Happy Meals-Books Instead of Toys

The next time parents order a Happy Meal from McDonald's, they might find a book inside the meal's packaging instead of a toy.

McDonald's Happy Meal with CutiesThe company announced recently that the treats inside kids' meals would change until Feb. 15 as part of an experiment. The meals will contain one of five miniaturize-size paperback books, a partnership with Reading Is Fundamental.

"Reading Is Fundamental is pleased to partner with McDonald’s again this year and (to) provide much-needed books to children who have limited access to them," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. "Books are the building blocks for a better future. They foster the imagination, expand our understanding of the world and fuel a lifelong love of learning. We’re pleased McDonald’s is helping millions of children discover the joy of reading."

The Valentine's Day themed books include "Clark the Shark Takes Heart," "Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse!," "Pete the Cat: Valentine's Day Is Cool" and "Paddington."

This is the third time McDonald's has temporarily swapped the toys for books. The Los Angeles Times reported that the company will distribute more than 50 million children's books by the end of the promotion.

But not everyone is impressed. Jessie Bragg, spokesman for watchdog group Corporate Accountability said:

It's definitely more of the same.  It's just a way to get their brand in front of kids in a very subversive way.

The four books in the series are based on McDonald's own animated animals.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

The First Book for Kids by a Pope-Ever

Already in his brief, three-year pontificate Pope Francis has a track record of papal firsts, but on March 1, he will add yet another to his list: authoring a children's book.

Loyola Press
“This book could be useful to the entire family. The questions are deep, fresh, sharp – involving desires of understanding, but also tough feelings and experiences to be faced and lived,” Fr. Antonio Spadaro SJ told CNA Feb. 9.

“Ultimately I hope people see that the Pope’s message is universal. Whether his responses are read by children or adults, I hope that his focus on peace, joy, and mercy is understood and felt by all.”

“This book is the very first book by a Pope for children ever,” Fr. Spadaro said, explaining that it’s not just a collection of things he said before in other settings, but is “something original, thought (of) as a book with answers to questions, but also drawings.”

Once the Pope agreed to participate, things got going, he said. Loyola Press immediately reached out to both priests and lay people around the world in order to put the publisher in contact with children who would write the letters.

The 259 letters that arrived to the Vatican came from across the globe, including countries such as Albania, China, Nigeria, the Philippines and a school for displaced children in Syria.

Fr. Spadaro affirmed that the responses given “are the Pope's words,” and noted that at one point, before his trip to the United States last September, Francis was reading the children’s’ questions, and admitted that “these are tough.”

When the book is published March 1, it will be released in 14 languages, including English, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Hungarian and French, though Fr. Spadaro said he expects the number to grow.

On Feb. 22, eight children whose letters appear in the book, plus a few siblings, met with Pope Francis in a private audience at the Vatican. They will present him with the finished book, as well as all 259 letters collected for the project.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Little House on the Prairie Coming to a Theater Near You

Paramount Pictures will shoot a Little House on the Prairie movie. The story for this project comes from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved novels and the popular television adaptation
Little House (GalleyCat)
According to Variety, Sean Durkin has signed on as the director and Abi Morgan will serve as the screenwriter. At this point in time, no casting announcements have been made.

Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “Little House aired on NBC from 1974 to 1983 and starred Michael Landon as the patriarch of a pioneer family living in the 1880s in the American Midwest.

The show was known for its wholesome values and was a loose adaptation of the classic series of children’s books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, who based it on her childhood.”

Be sure to take a peek at the Little House on the Prairie TV Show Introduction Video below!